BY MATT HILDNER THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
Published: November 13, 2014; Last modified: November 13, 2014 11:30PM
VILLA GROVE — Federal officials Wednesday listed the Gunnison sage grouse as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
While roughly 80 percent of the birds reside in the Gunnison basin, a small population estimated at 15 birds by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2012 lives on the south side of Poncha Pass.
Service officials said in a press release that the birds in small populations like the one on Poncha Pass and others scattered on the Western Slope needed the protections of the act to ensure the species’ survival should the Gunnison basin population decline.