WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2015 – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it will assess the status of four wildlife species to determine whether they warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The status reviews on the northern bog lemming, the wood turtle, the rusty-patched bumble bee and the regal butterfly are being initiated in response to a variety of petitions, FWS said in a news release.

The northern bog lemming is found in sphagnum bogs, wet subalpine meadows and mossy forests in northern states including Minnesota, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.

Wood turtles occur in Minnesota, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia. They inhabit streams, woodland bogs and marshy pastures.

The rusty-patched bumble bee is found in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin. This pollinator needs a supply of flowers that bloom from April to September. 

A large orange and black butterfly, the regal fritillary is sometimes mistaken for a monarch butterfly if seen from a distance. It is found in grasslands and prairies from eastern Colorado to the East Coast, including the Midwest states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. As a caterpillar, the fritillary eats only violets.

Once FWS has completed its assessments, the agency will determine whether to propose any as endangered or threatened under the ESA.  For each species, the Service must determine that listing is warranted or not warranted, and may determine that listing is warranted but currently precluded due to needs of higher priority species. 

The notice of the initiation of status reviews appears in the Sept. 18 Federal Register. FWS says interested parties may submit information for two months, or the through Nov. 17. Click here for more information and to see how to submit information via the web or by mail.

For more news, go to: www.Agri-Pulse.com