Action timeline

January 3, 2002 – The dusky gopher frog was listed as endangered as the result of a Center suit and settlement.

November 15, 2007 – The Center filed suit to force a critical habitat designation for the dusky gopher frog. 

June 10, 2007 – The Center reached a settlement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in which the Service agreed to revisit designation of critical habitat for the frog and issue a new determination by May 10, 2010, with a final designation due one year later.

April 28, 2010 – The Center for Biological Diversity and the Gulf Restoration Network, represented by the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic, sent a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the state of Mississippi and other agencies for failing to protect the fragile habitat that the dusky gopher frog depends on.

June 2, 2010 – In response to the Center’s 2007 lawsuit, the Fish and Wildlife Service proposed designation of 1,957 acres in coastal Mississippi as protected critical habitat for the highly endangered dusky gopher frog.

September 26, 2011 – The Service proposed to more than triple the area of the frog’s previous critical habitat proposal to 7,015 acres.

March 8, 2012 – The Center for Biological Diversity, Gulf Restoration Network and Columbus Communities — the developer of a planned community called “Tradition” in Harrison County, Mississippi — signed an agreement to protect habitat for the highly endangered frog outlining steps the parties will take to facilitate a land exchange between the developer and U.S. Forest Service to protect one of the dusky gopher frog’s last remaining breeding ponds.

June 11, 2012 –  In response to our lawsuit and advocacy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated 6,477 acres of protected critical habitat for endangered dusky gopher frogs.

December 20, 2012 – The Center for Biological Diversity and Gulf Restoration Network filed a formal notice of intent to sue the Interior Department for failing to develop a recovery plan for dusky gopher frogs.

June 25, 2013 – A federal district court in New Orleans allowed the Center for Biological Diversity and Gulf Restoration Network to intervene in a lawsuit brought by a private landowner challenging habitat protections for dusky gopher frogs. 

September 9, 2014 – According to a settlement agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity and Gulf Restoration Network, the Fish and Wildlife Service released a draft recovery plan for endangered dusky gopher frogs. 

September 9, 2015 – The Service released a final recovery plan.

June 30, 2016 –  A federal appeals court upheld protections for 6,477 acres of critical habitat in Mississippi and Louisiana for endangered dusky gopher frogs.

Photo courtesy USFWS