The Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today for the agency’s failure to decide whether to give Endangered Species Act protection to 25 amphibian and reptile species found in the southeastern United States. Nine turtles, two snakes, one skink and 13 salamanders are named in today’s notice.
“Endangered Species Act protection is the only hope for saving these amphibians and reptiles, which are being driven to extinction by habitat loss, pollution and other threats,” said Collette Adkins Giese, a Center lawyer and biologist who works to save imperiled amphibians and reptiles. “Saving these animals will also protect rivers and streams that are a source of drinking water and recreation for millions of people in the Southeast.”
In 2010 the Center and its allies petitioned for Endangered Species Act protection for dozens of amphibians and reptiles, as well as hundreds of other aquatic species, in the Southeast. In 2011 the Fish and Wildlife Service determined that 25 of these amphibians and reptiles “may warrant” protection as endangered species but has failed to make required 12-month findings to decide whether to give them federal protection.