Greens renew bid to protect a toad in Nevada’s gold-rich desert

By Michael Doyle, Hannah Northey | 05/29/2024 01:36 PM EDT

The Amargosa toad is found along a 14-mile stretch of river.

An Amargosa toad is shown.

An Amargosa toad. Joe Milmoe/Fish and Wildlife Service/Flickr

Citing a “new existential threat” to an amphibian that clings to a narrow slice of gold-rich Nevada desert, environmentalists Wednesday filed another petition seeking Endangered Species Act protections for the Amargosa toad.

Though the Fish and Wildlife Service previously denied two similar ESA listing petitions filed on the toad’s behalf, the Center for Biological Diversity asserts recent mining proposals have escalated the dangers to the species found along a 14-mile stretch of the Amargosa River.

“We are requesting that this petition be considered on an emergency basis as this rare endemic species is immediately threatened by a mining project currently in [National Environmental Policy Act] review, as well as six other mining projects in different stages of development,” Krista Kemppinen, a senior scientist for the CBD’s Southwest and Great Basin, and Patrick Donnelly, the group’s Great Basin director, wrote in the petition.


The ESA does not provide for emergency listing petitions, and despite the request’s wording, the FWS says it treats all petitions the same.