Rare Rocky Mountain stoneflies will need snowfields to survive

Meltwater Lednian Stonefly larva - USGS
Meltwater Lednian Stonefly larva – USGS

There have also been stonefly studies here on the North Fork . . .

Federal wildlife officials say two species of winged insects in the Rocky Mountains will need several thousand acres of glaciers and snowfields if they are to survive a warming world that’s threatening them with extinction.

The western glacier stonefly and the meltwater lednian stonefly live in streams that flow from melting glaciers and snowfields. Scientists say the insects are not doing well and face continued declines, including losing 80 percent of their habitat in Glacier National Park by 2030.

The stoneflies’ peril underscores the threat climate change poses to mountaintops worldwide that are “biodiversity hotspots” — home to a rich variety of plants, animals and insects that scientists are still learning about.

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