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Media Advisory, February 17, 2011

Contact:  Collette Adkins Giese, (651) 955-3821

Government Urged to Finalize Habitat Protection for Sonoma County’s California Tiger Salamander

SAN FRANCISCO— The Center for Biological Diversity today urged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect all suitable habitat for the Sonoma County population of the California tiger salamander. The Center submitted comments on the agency’s proposal to designate critical habitat for this highly imperiled amphibian, whose habitat is crucial to its survival.

The revised rule proposes more than 50,000 acres of critical habitat for the salamander. Down from approximately 74,000 acres proposed in August of 2009, the revised rule removes some areas not used by the salamanders, such as urban centers and floodplain areas. The Service’s actions to propose critical habitat are the result of the Center’s 2008 lawsuit that successfully challenged a Bush administration reduction of proposed critical habitat acreage from 74,000 to zero.

“The Sonoma County population of California tiger salamander is on the brink of extinction, with its few remaining populations isolated by urban sprawl and roads,” said attorney and biologist Collette Adkins Giese of the Center. “Full protection of all suitable habitats is the salamander’s only chance for survival.”

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