Citing threats posed by disease and climate change, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that the whitebark pine is receiving federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. A 2018 assessment found that more than half of the standing whitebark pine trees in the West had died by 2016. The die-off is largely attributed to blister rust, a non-native fungal disease. Additional threats to the species’ long-term survival include mountain pine beetle infestations, altered wildfire patterns and climate change.