Blog - Learning in Action

CWI and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Partner to Review the Conservation Status of Invertebrate Animals

June 18, 2015
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Title - The Western Pearlshell (Margaritifera falcata) is a regional species of conservation concern. This teenager (ca. 15 years) is from central Idaho. Photo: Steven Lysne
The Western Pearlshell (Margaritifera falcata) is a regional species of conservation concern. This teenager (ca. 15 years) is from central Idaho. Photo: Steven Lysne

CWI’s Center for Invertebrate Science and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game are partnering to share information and review the conservation status of invertebrate animals in Idaho. It’s been almost a decade since natural resource managers took a hard look at the status of invertebrates in the state. There are presently four invertebrate animals in Idaho that are federally listed as either threatened or endangered. Many more are considered “sensitive” species of concern and would benefit from prioritized conservation efforts. For example, Assistant Professor Hollie Leavitt has surveyed for Monarch Butterflies for over ten years and states that the population in Idaho has declined over 80% due to habitat alteration and the loss milkweed; the Monarch’s principle food source. Similarly, Assistant Professor Steve Lysne has conducted research on the Western Pearlshell (pictured below) and has documented a significant decline (37% - 54%) in the distribution of this culturally important mussel in Idaho. Partnerships such as this increase the reliability of conservation assessments and thus result in informed decision-making and priority-setting processes. Partnerships such as this also provide CWI with a seat at the table and an opportunity to give back to the Treasure Valley community that has given us so much! The public is encouraged to comment as well. Additional information on this review can be found at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game website.