The northern Idaho ground squirrel was listed as a threatened species in April 2000. This subspecies is known to exist only in Adams and Valley Counties of western Idaho. It is estimated the population of squirrels has declined by 80% from initial surveys in 1985. In September 2003 a final Recovery Plan was released by the USFWS, with State of Idaho input (see below).
The southern Idaho ground squirrel is a federal “candidate” species, and has not been listed under the ESA. This subspecies also has a limited range, in the Weiser River Basin. Current information indicates that the species has been declining throughout its range since 1985. As the majority of squirrel sites reside on private lands, a Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) has been developed with landowners to conserve the species without the need for listing. Landowners who participate in the CCAA agree to implement conservation practices on their lands to remove or reduce threats to the squirrels. In return, the USFWS assures the landowners that no additional regulatory restrictions will be placed on their land management practices in the future should the species be listed under the ESA. This CCAA can be downloaded below.
Efforts are underway to develop other CCAAs in the area, as well as other habitat conservations plans for other species.
Northern Ground Squirrel Recovery Plan [PDF] - 78 pages
Southern Ground Squirrel CCAA [PDF] - 36 pages