HELENA, MONTANA – Federal wildlife officials say the continued existence of two species of insects is in doubt because the glaciers and year-round snowfields they depend on are melting away.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said Wednesday the western glacier stonefly and the meltwater lednian stonefly will be protected as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
The stoneflies live in high-elevation, cold-water streams fed by glaciers and perennial snowfields in and around Glacier National Park in Montana, Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming and Native American tribal lands in western Montana.
Wildlife officials say melting glaciers, higher water temperatures and changes in the volume of snowmelt and runoff are harming the habitat they need to survive.
Most glaciers and snowfields in one of the species’ main locations, Glacier National Park, are expected to disappear by 2030.