Last week, the Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) announced a 12-month finding (PDF) that the Mohave ground squirrel (Spermophilus mohavensis) does not warrant protection as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service’s finding was in response to a petition from the Defenders of Wildlife and a private citizen to list the species as endangered.

In April 2010, the Service issued a finding that concluded the petition presented substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing the Mohave ground squirrel may be warranted; however, after review of the available scientific and commercial information on the species, the Service has now concluded there are no substantial threats to the Mohave ground squirrel throughout its range.

The Mohave ground squirrel is found in desert scrub communities and Joshua tree woodlands in the Mojave Desert in portions of Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino counties.