From KUER (Lexi Peery):
The razorback sucker fish could be downlisted from an endangered species to threatened in the next year or so, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This week, environmental groups sent the agency a letter in opposition to the move.
The letter argues the razorback sucker is still in trouble, despite recoveries it’s made in the last 30 years, which is when it was first listed as federally endangered. The fish is native to the Colorado River, which is facing historic shortages due to the west’s megadrought…
The USFWS proposed a change in the fish’s status because they said its situation has improved and threats to it have been reduced. Though, they said it will need to be continually managed.
The letter from environmentalists was submitted as a public comment on the reclassification process. A spokesperson for the USFWS said they received around 35 comments.
Jen Pelz, Wild Rivers program director at the conservation group WildEarth Guardians, said it’s “irresponsible” to downlist the species now.
“Until the ecosystem that they live in can support self-sustaining populations, we believe that those species should maintain their endangered status, which is the highest protection under the law,” she said.
The humpback chub, another Colorado River native fish, could also be downlisted. The USFWS proposed a reclassification last year.