Protect the Gunnison Sage-Grouse

Target: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

Goal: Grant endangered species status to Gunnison sage-grouse

Within the regions of Colorado and Utah, south of the Colorado River, resides the dwindling population of a unique and fascinating animal. This animal, the Gunnison sage-grouse is currently facing the threat of impending extinction. These fantastic animals need the protection of endangered species designation. Without receiving this endangered species protection, the Gunnison sage-grouse is at risk to disappear before the decade is out.

This is unacceptable for an animal that did not even receive its official name until the year 2000. Prior to that time scientists had been unaware that its lengthy crown plumes and elaborate mating displays were hallmarks of being a distinct species, separate from other similarly identified sage grouses. This gave the bird the noteworthy status of being the first new avian species to be identified and described in continental North America in nearly a century.

Even at that time the bird’s population was considered relatively low. Their habitat once extended from Southwestern Colorado to parts of Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. This has now been reduced to a small cross-section of Colorado and Utah known as the Gunnison Basin. This is the only remaining land with the proper diversity of sagebrush, grasses, and forbs to support these birds. As a result, there are now thought to be fewer than 5,000 of these striking animals alive in the wild.

The Gunnison sage-grouse requires the stabilizing impact of an endangered species designation as well as an accompanying protection of its habitat (such as the proposed 1.7 million acres of land designated for protection). This is the only way to prevent this animal’s extinction. It would be a tragedy for an animal to become extinct less than two decades after it was identified. Protect the Gunnison sage-grouse and grant it endangered species status before it is too late.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Administrator Jackson,

The Gunnison sage-grouse is a unique and fascinating animal. Unfortunately this bird is facing the threat of impending extinction. These fantastic animals must receive the protection of endangered species designation to ensure the continued safety of the species. Should they not receive endangered species protection, the Gunnison sage-grouse may sadly disappear before the decade is out.

This would represent an unacceptable tragedy for an animal that did not even receive its official name and recognition until the year 2000. Before that scientists had been unaware that the bird’s lengthy crown plumes and elaborate mating displays were signposts of being a distinct species, separate from other similar variations of sage grouses. This gave the bird the noteworthy status of being the first truly new bird species to be identified and described in continental North America in nearly a century.

Even at when first identified however the bird’s population was considered relatively low. A habitat that once extended from southwestern Colorado to parts of Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico has over time been reduced to merely a small cross-section of Colorado and Utah known as the Gunnison Basin. This is the only remaining land with the proper diversity of sagebrush, grasses, and forbs to support these birds. It is because of this habitat loss that there are now thought to be fewer than 5,000 of these striking animals alive in the wild.

The Gunnison sage-grouse must receive the stabilizing impact of an endangered species designation. This, along with the benefits of a protected habitat (such as the proposed 1.7 million acres of protected land) comprise the only way to guarantee the prevention of this animal’s extinction. It would be a tragedy for an animal to become extinct less than two decades after it was identified. Protect the Gunnison sage-grouse and grant it endangered species status before it is too late.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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  • alper arslan
  • jeff hopkins
  • mylene berthet
  • Helene Beck
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  • Yvonne Fast
  • akasha
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