Science News

Minnesota Blanding’s Turtle, Arizona Toad Among Endangered Species Under Review

Minnesota’s Blanding’s turtle — a semi-aquatic North American turtle of the family Emydidae — is now among 21 species under review for protection from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Scientists and environmental groups both agree that the Blanding’s turtle should be protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Collette Adkins, a biologist and lawyer for the Center for Biological Diversity is quoted by Duluth News Tribune as saying “Blanding’s turtles, spotted turtles and Illinois chorus frogs are dying out mostly because people are destroying their wetland homes.” Pending a full status review by the Fish and Wildlife Services, the Blanding’s turtle will be added to the endangered species list very soon.

Blanding’s turtles, spotted turtles and Illinois chorus frogs are dying out mostly because people are destroying their wetland homes (…) Endangered Species Act protection for these rare turtles and frogs will help protect these essential areas from destruction.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to review the Arizona toad, the Associated Press reported. Also up for review on the endangered species list are three other animals including; the alligator snapping turtle, the Cascade Caverns salamander, and the Rio Grande cooter.

Most of the animals on the list being reviewed are from the South region. The Arizona toad, specifically, is found in less than a quarter of its historic range. Even though they these animals listed are up for review, it doesn’t always lead to inclusion on the endangered species list.

With the petition that was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity on Tuesday, it was found that there was enough information in the petition to warrant a full review. Places that the Arizona toad inhabits include New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and California.

When thinking of endangered, U.S. chimpanzees are at the top of the list, including both wild and captive. With a population that once was in the millions, they are now down to a couple of hundred-thousand total.

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