Proposal increases critical habitat for rare frog

September 22, 2011 • State News

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Critical habitat for a rare spotted frog found in Arizona and New Mexico would increase under a proposal by federal wildlife officials.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a [auth] plan to add 331 acres in New Mexico, bringing the critical habitat designation for the Chiricahua leopard frog to nearly 11,500 acres in the two states.

Agency officials say Kerr Canyon, West Fork Gila River and Palomas Creek were overlooked when critical habitat was proposed earlier this year. The frog was listed as threatened in 2002 and known to be in those areas.

The comment period on the proposal ends Oct. 21.

Environmental groups had sued to protect the frog.

Fish and Wildlife officials are under court order to issue a final determination on the habitat by March.

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