Plan would give toad more space
Federal wildlife officials have proposed designating 109,110 acres as “critical habitat” for the endangered arroyo toad. The designation, which authorizes various forms of federal protection for the species, would apply to several sites in San Diego County's backcountry and in six other counties across Southern California.
In April 2005, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had determined that 11,695 acres were critical for the toad's survival. The Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity sued the agency in hopes of increasing the acreage, and the two parties crafted a settlement.
The newly proposed territory includes rivers, streams and upland areas for the toads to forage and breed.
“Once a common species in Southern California, the arroyo toad has lost 75 percent of its historic range,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species program director for the diversity center.
Related documents can be found at www.fws.gov/ventura under “recent news events.” The Fish and Wildlife Service will accept public comments on its proposal until Dec. 14.
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