California Democrats Prepared to Challenge GOP Over Endangered Species Act

Status: Listed as threatened with extinction in 1990.

Habitat: Mostly the Mojave Desert, including Joshua Tree National Park and Mojave National Preserve.

Challenges: Lost habitat from military base expansions, solar plants and other development. Upper respiratory disease. Increasing populations of ravens prey on tortoise eggs and hatchlings.

Stephens’ kangaroo rat

Status: Listed as endangered since 1988.

Habitat: Open grassland and coastal sage scrub in Western Riverside County and parts of San Diego County.

Challenges: Habitat loss from the development of housing tracts and shopping centers.

Delhi sands flower-loving fly

Status: Listed as endangered in 1993.

Habitat: Sand dune areas of Colton, Rialto and Jurupa Valley.

Challenges: Habitat loss from mostly industrial development.

Quino checkerspot butterfly

Status: Listed as endangered in 1997.

Habitat: north-central San Diego County, near Tecate, Mexico, and in small pockets of land on the outskirts of Temecula, Murrieta and Anza in southwestern Riverside County.

Challenges: Habitat loss from mostly residential development.

Coastal California gnatcatcher

Status: Songbird listed as threatened in 1993.

Habitat: the coastal sage scrub that once stretched from Ventura County to northern Baja California.

Challenges: Loss of habitat development and urban expansion.

Least Bell’s vireo

Status: Listed as endangered in 1986.

Habitat: This small, gray songbird nests in lower shrubs found near rivers, creeks and other waterways.

Challenges: Loss of habitat from flood control projects. Predation from domestic cats, and an increase in population of cow birds. The cow birds lay eggs in the vireo nests, and the vireos unknowingly raise young cow birds as their own.

Santa Ana sucker

Status: Listed as threatened with extinction in 2000.

Habitat: The fish lives in the Santa Ana River between the Rialto Channel in Colton and the Mission Avenue bridge in Riverside. It also lives in the San Gabriel River and Big Tujunga Creek, both in Los Angeles County.

Challenges: Loss of 95 percent of historic range. Hurt by urban pollution, water diversion and the replacement of natural gravel creek beds with concrete flood-control channels.

Pacific pocket mouse

Status : Listed as endangered in 1994.

Habitat: Along the coastline of Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties. One stronghold: Dana Point headlands.

Challenges: Loss of habitat to urban development and agricultural use, brush clearances for fire protection, and domestic cat predation.

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