Protecting our Endangered Species
- Environmental Communication & Public Involvement
- P.O. Box 1663 MS M996
- Los Alamos, NM 87545
- (505) 667-0216
Endangered species on laboratory land
The Habitat Management Plan (pdf) details how threatened and endangered species and their habitats are managed at LANL. The Plan consists of site plans for federally listed threatened or endangered species with a moderate or high probability of occurring at the Laboratory.
The following federally listed threatened or endangered species currently have site plans at LANL:
- Jemez Mountains Salamander (Plethodon neomexicanus)
- Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida)
- Southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax trailii extimus)
- Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus occidentalis)
The Jemez Mountains Salamander is one of two endemic, lungless salamanders in New Mexico. It is strictly terrestrial and as such resides in moist canyons with a mixed conifer habitat.
The Jemez Mountains Salamander was listed as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act in 2013. At LANL, there are nine areas of environmental interest comprised of Jemez Mountains Salamander habitat.
The primary threats to Jemez Mountains Salamander on LANL property are habitat loss and degradation as a result of wildland fires, threats from recreation uses, and diseases.
The Mexican spotted owl is the only subspecies of spotted owl recognized in New Mexico and generally inhabits mixed conifer and ponderosa pine forests in mountains and canyons. A mated pair of adult spotted owls may use the same home range and general nesting areas throughout their lives.
The Mexican spotted owl was listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act in 1993. At LANL there are presently five areas of environmental interest comprised of Mexican spotted owl habitat.
The primary threats to Mexican spotted owl on LANL property are impacts on habitat quality from LANL operations and disturbance of nesting spotted owls.
The Southwestern willow flycatcher breeds only in dense riparian habitats in the southwestern United States. In New Mexico, the species is found primarily along the Gila River and Rio Grande drainages. It is vulnerable to the loss, fragmentation, and modification of riparian breeding habitat, including the removal of exotic vegetation along the Rio Grande, where nesting in salt cedar is a regular occurrence.
The southwestern willow flycatcher was listed as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act in 1995.
At LANL, there is one area managed as southwestern willow flycatcher habitat under the Habitat Management Plan.
The Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo is a long distance Neo-tropical migrant. They are an obligate riparian breeding species and prefer large tracts of uneven aged trees for breeding and foraging.
The Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo was listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act in 2014. At LANL, there are currently no areas of environmental interest managed for the Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo, as there is no suitable habitat within LANL boundaries.
The primary threats to Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo are habitat loss and degradation from cattle, development, and compositional change of habitat due to climate change.