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Hunting in Nevada: 4 Animals Designated Nongame, Endangered, Threatened, and Protected Species

By    |   Monday, 01 June 2015 05:52 PM

Hunting in Nevada is a diverse experience thanks to the range of big-game and small-game animals and game birds that populate the Sagebrush State.

But Nevada also features more than 50 endangered and threatened species that are protected under the Endangered Species Act, the state's Fish & Wildlife Office reports. Here are four of the endangered animals that state and federal law prohibit from being hunted in Nevada:

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1. Wolverines
The largest member of the weasel family, wolverines became so rare in the United States that their population dwindled, with 250 to 300 known sightings in the 48 contiguous states, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They are considered threatened in Nevada with only sporadic individual sightings in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, so hunting them in the state is illegal.

2. Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep
These large and powerful mammals live on higher-elevation ridges or lower-elevation habitats in order to avoid snow so they can continue eating through the winter, according to the USFWS. Their North American population shrank from 1.5 million in the 1800s to 70,000 today, but efforts are underway in Nevada and other states to repopulate bighorn sheep from healthy populations to areas where they are scarce or nonexistent, according to the Defenders of Wildlife website.

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3. Gray Wolves
Government predator control programs in the early 20th century reduced the gray wolf population to near extinction across the country. However, federal recovery programs have enabled wolves to repopulate enough that they were removed from the endangered list in Wyoming and a handful of other states, though they are still considered endangered and may not be hunted in Nevada, the Nevada Fish & Wildlife Office said.

4. Desert Tortoises
This gentle reptile, with its stumpy elephantine hind legs, domed shell, and ability to dig and live underground for up to 95 percent of its life, has been given threatened status throughout Nevada. The tortoise typically ranges from two to 15 inches long and eight to 15 pounds in weight and can live up to 50 years in the wild and 80 years in captivity. It is rarely seen in the state; its few sightings almost exclusively occur in the Mojave Desert region of Nevada, Utah, California, and Arizona, but hopes are that it will slowly repopulate under the federal recovery plan, the USFWS said on its website.
This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Hunting in Nevada is a diverse experience thanks to the range of big-game and small-game animals and game birds that populate the Sagebrush State.
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Monday, 01 June 2015 05:52 PM
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