Houston News : Suit over saving endangered Houston toad moves forward in court

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The Houston toad is only found in areas of deep, sandy soil in east-central Texas.

The Houston toad is only found in areas of deep, sandy soil in east-central Texas.

Photo: Stephanie Adams, Houston Zoo / Stephanie Adams, Houston Zoo

Photo: Stephanie Adams, Houston Zoo / Stephanie Adams, Houston Zoo

The Houston toad is only found in areas of deep, sandy soil in east-central Texas.

The Houston toad is only found in areas of deep, sandy soil in east-central Texas.

Photo: Stephanie Adams, Houston Zoo / Stephanie Adams, Houston Zoo

Suit over saving endangered Houston toad moves forward in court

Looks like the federal government just might be coming up with a plan to save the Houston toad after all.

The toad has been protected under the Endangered Species act for 50 years, Center for Biological Diversity biologist Jenny Loda told the Houston Chronicle, but it has continued to decline. And a federal judge ruled Thursday that the government can’t dismiss a lawsuit asking for a new recovery plan.

“The Center for Biological Diversity estimates that fewer than 1,000 such toads may remain in the wild and they can only be found in the central coastal region of Texas,” the Chronicle reported. “The organization alleged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to update a plan for conservation and survival of the amphibian.”

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Loda told the Chronicle “a new recovery plan is long overdue and will provide the necessary roadmap for the toad’s survival.”

The 2 to 3½ inches long toad began disappearing from the Houston area in the 1960s, and the last one seen here in Harris County was collected near the William P. Hobby Airport in 1976, according to a recovery plan document issued by federal officials in ’84.

U.S. District Judge Trevor N. McFadden denied claims from the government that the conservation act doesn’t obligate them to immediately revise a 1984 plan for the toad, and he also declined claims that the allegations are “untimely.”



Houston News

Source : chron.com