Beetle on the rebound

Valley elderberry longhorn beetle bounces back from near-extinction

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recommended the valley elderberry longhorn beetle, a native of the Sacramento Valley, be removed from Endangered Species Act protection.

The inch-long, red-and-black bug (pictured) has been listed as a threatened species since 1980, as land development and levee construction eliminated roughly 90 percent of the valley’s riparian habitat, according to The Sacramento Bee. The beetle’s protected status has resulted in millions of dollars in costs for property owners and flood-control agencies required to protect the beetle’s primary habitat—the valley elderberry bush. Once found in only 10 areas of the Central Valley, the beetle can now be found at 26 different locations and enjoys more than 21,000 acres of protected habitat.

The recommendation will undergo federal review.