FWS announces draft recovery plan for Mount Graham red squirrel
76 Fed. Reg. 30957 (Friday, May 27, 2011) / Notices
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR / Fish and Wildlife Service
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Notice of Availability of a Draft Recovery Plan, First Revision, Mount Graham Red Squirrel for Review and Comment
AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
ACTION: Notice of document availability for review and public comment.
SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of our draft recovery plan, first revision, for the Mount Graham Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus grahamensis) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This species is endemic to upper-elevation forests in the Pinalen˜ o Mountains in southeastern Arizona. We request review and comment on our plan from local, State, and Federal agencies, Tribes, and the public. We will also accept any new information on the species’ status throughout its range.
LINKS: visit the U.S. FWS species profile and the 1993 Recovery Plan and the 2011 Draft Recovery Plan.
The Mount Graham red squirrel exists only in the upper-elevation forests of the Pinalen˜o Mountains in southeastern Arizona, and likely represents a relictual population of what was once a much more widely distributed taxon. Threats to the subspecies at the time of listing included its small population size and range; changes in forest age structure and density within the squirrel’s habitat; loss of habitat due to development, road construction, and forest fire; and competition with the introduced Abert’s squirrel. These same threats to the red squirrel’s habitat continue today, compounded by the additional threats of climate change (including drought), insect infestation, and fire suppression activities. Recent research also indicates that predation, competition with Abert’s squirrels, and demographic factors (mainly due to its small population size) may impact the Mount Graham red squirrel population more than expected. Photo from Mount Graham Biology Program - The University of Arizona