Western plant, toad gain federal attention

RENO (AP) - Federal officials announced Thursday that a rare plant found in three Western states warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act, and a toad found only in Nevada will be studied to determine if it deserves a similar status.

In response to a request by two environmental groups, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to study the Amargosa toad, which has a distinctive stripe down the back and is found exclusively in Oasis Valley about 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

The agency signed a conservation agreement with the Nevada Department of Wildlife and the Nature Conservancy in 2000 to protect the toad's habitat in an effort to avert a listing.

"We've been doing a lot of good things for the toad," said Bob Williams, Fish and Wildlife's supervisor for Nevada.


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