A conservation group threatens to sue unless the feds step up reptile and amphibian protections.The Center for Biological Diversity sent a notice today (Dec. 10) to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, threatening to sue within 60 days if the agency failed to move forward to protect 17 rare reptiles and amphibians in the southeast, 11 of them in Florida.They are among 53 reptiles and amphibians the Arizona-based nonprofit group wants the federal government to protect under the Endangered Species Act. And they represent some of America’s most imperiled species of toads, salamanders, lizards, turtles and snakes, the group says.”All these species are facing threats,” said Collette Adkins Giese, a biologist and lawyer for the Center for Biological Diversity. “Ultimately, if we got these species listed, there would be protection of their habitat.”Prohibitions on collecting the rare reptile and amphibian species for the pet trade also could result, she said.The group had formally asked the federal government to protect the 53 species in a July 2012 petition — the largest of its kind ever filed focusing only on amphibians and reptiles. The species include seven snakes, six turtles, two toads, four frogs, 10 lizards and 24 salamanders.But more than two… Read full this story
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