PHOENIX — A Tucson-based environmental group is petitioning the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to put seven amphibians and reptiles on the endangered-species list, including four native to Arizona.
Citing declining populations, the Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Jan. 16.
The list included the Arizona toad, which is also found in New Mexico, Nevada and Utah; the Arizona night lizard, found in rocky areas of Yavapai County; the Bezy’s night lizard, found mostly in desert highlands and woodlands; and the Yuman Desert fringe-toed lizard, found in southwestern Arizona.
“They face unique threats,” said Collette Adkins Giese, a center biologist and lawyer. “One thing that is common is that their habitats are threatened.”
The center filed a petition in July 2012 for these animals, but Adkins Giese said the agency never looked into it. Wildlife Service has 90 days to look into the current petition.
Adding an animal to the endangered species list can take years.
“It is frustrating,” Adkins Giese said. “The longer we wait, the more difficult it is to save them.”
Adkins Giese said these animals face habitat loss from urbanization and are also harmed by climate change and pet collectors.
Gavin Shire, a Wildlife Service spokesman, said that data is analyzed before deciding if an animal can be added to the endangered species list. If an animal is especially at risk, an emergency petition can be filed.
There are more than 1,000 animals and plants that are endangered or threatened.
“Some would say the list isn’t long enough and some would say it’s too long,” he said. “But we think the list is right.”
There are more than 30 endangered plants and animals in Arizona.
Tom Jones, amphibians and reptiles program manager at the Arizona Game and Fish Department, said there is no indication that the amphibians and reptiles listed by the center have declining populations or face threats to their habitats. The agency hasn’t studied the populations, he added.
“In my opinion they are looking for species that have limited geographic ranges and are making assumptions,” Jones said.
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- A preseason guide to avoid holiday weight gain
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck