Scientists Try To Save Seven Southwest Species

January 16, 2014
photo courtesy of National Park Service
Scientists and conservationists make a case to save the Arizona Toad and six other amphibians and reptiles of the Southwest.

Conservationists plan to sue the federal government over seven of the Southwest’s scaly and slimy creatures. 

Scientists and environmentalists would like to see Endangered Species Act protections for seven of the Southwest’s amphibians and reptiles. They are the Rio Grande cooter, the Arizona toad, the Cascade Caverns salamander, the Desert fringe-toed lizard, the Reticulate Collared Lizard, the Arizona Night Lizard and Bezy’s Night Lizard. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is required to make an initial finding within 90 days of receiving a petition. The Center for Biological Diversity says its been more than a year since scientists petitioned the agency, and it hasn’t responded. A Center spokeswoman said in a statement, “these unique species are an important part of the web of life and of what makes the Southwest unique.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service could not comment at this time.

According to scientists, amphibians and reptiles have survived every major extinction period, until now, because of human impacts.