The Siskiyou Mountains Salamander lives in the moist, cool areas of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Now environmental groups are suing federal wildlife managers for not protecting this rare species.
Because salamanders are very sensitive to environmental changes, scientists can study them to determine forest health. The Tucson Based Center for Biological Diversity and other environmental groups say the Salamander could disappear if it doesn’t get protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to respond to a petition filed by the groups in 2018 asking to list the salamander as endangered. In the past, the Bureau of Land Management prevented logging in areas where the salamander was found, but now no longer does. The Fish and Wildlife Service declined to comment on pending litigation.
The environmental groups hope to force the agency to respond to the petition. They believe with new scientific research and lack of current protections, the salamander has a good chance of getting the endangered status it deserves.