Nevada toad in geothermal power fight gets endangered status
A tiny Nevada toad at the center of a legal battle over a geothermal power project has officially been declared an endangered species, after U.S. wildlife officials temporarily listed it on a rarely used emergency basis last spring. “This ruling makes final the listing of the Dixie Valley toad,” the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in a formal rule published Friday in the Federal Register. The spectacled, quarter-sized amphibian “is currently at risk of extinction throughout its range primarily due to the approval and commencement of geothermal development,” the service said. Other threats to the toad include groundwater pumping, agriculture, climate change, disease and predation from bullfrogs. The temporary listing in April marked only the second time in 20 years the agency had taken such emergency action.