WASHINGTON (CN) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to add 4,495 acres in Sonoma County, Calif. to the 50,885 acres it had previously proposed to designate as critical habitat for the Sonoma County distinct population segment of the endangered California tiger salamander.
The amphibian was listed as endangered in 2004. At that time, the Central Coast population segment was designated as threatened and the Sonoma and Santa Barbara County distinct population segments were removed as distinct populations.
Following a notice of intent to sue from the Center for Biological Diversity, the agency reinstated the two dropped population segment distinctions and proposed critical habitat in Sonoma and Santa Barbara counties.
Opponents argue that the Sonoma County designation would limit development in the fast growing Petaluma area, an hour north of San Francisco.