Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2008 | 7:50 p.m.
Two southwestern environmental groups are seeking protection for the Amargosa toad from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the federal Endangered Species Act.
From thousands of toads seen in a 10-mile stretch of Amargosa River running through Beatty, 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas, the total toad population today may be fewer than 2,000, said Rob Mrowka, a biologist and ecologist with the Center for Biological Diversity.
Voluntary efforts to preserve the Amargosa toad for the past eight years have failed, according to the petition filed today by the center and the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
The 10-mile stretch of river where the toads exist flows through Oasis Valley.
Off-road activities, demands on water resources and development have all led to the petition for protection, said Daniel Patterson, an ecologist and southwest director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.