WASHINGTON (CN) – The Amargosa River population of the Mojave fringe-toed lizard will not be protected under the Endangered Species Act, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Amargosa River population is not genetically distinct enough from other populations to qualify as a Distinct Population Segment, and is therefore not a listable entity under the act, the agency found.
The lizard is threatened by heavy recreational vehicle use in the three dune ecosystems in and next to Death Valley National Park, according to the Center for Biological Diversity’s listing petition.
The Mojave fringe-toed lizard is distinguished from other fringe-toed lizard species by the dark black spot on each side of the belly and the crescent-shaped markings present on the sides of the throat, according to the petition.
The agency asks the public to continue to submit any new information concerning the status of, and threats to, the Amargosa River population of this species and the species overall.