Notice of intent to sue filed to protect Railroad Valley Toad
TUCSON, Arizona (KOLO) - A notice of intent to sue as a means of protecting Nevada’s Railroad Valley Toad has been filed by the Center for Biological Diversity.
The filing was made against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and alleges the toad’s survival is threatened by oil and gas extraction, as well as a proposed lithium mine.
The toad is found at just one spring-fed wetland complex in Railroad Valley, Nevada, with an estimated distribution of 445 acres.
“Railroad Valley toads have survived for millennia in a harsh environment, but unless there’s adequate spring flow they won’t make it,” said Krista Kemppinen, Ph.D., a senior scientist at the Center. “Without federal protections their future is bleak. These small amphibians don’t have time for further delays.”
The center petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2022 to protect the toad under the Endangered Species Act. They were given until April of 2023 to determine whether that protection was warranted, but, according to the Center, they failed to meet this deadline, prompting the filing.
“The Railroad Valley toads have evolved to survive in the desert where surface water is scarce,” said Kemppinen. “Carefully managing groundwater usage is critical to avoid extinction of this irreplaceable species.”
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