The Conservation Beat
9:27 am
Thu February 23, 2012

...Especially Now That Two More Species are Endangered

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reclassified two fish found in New Mexico and Arizona as “endangered.”  The Spikedace and Loach Minnow were previously considered “threatened.”

Noah Greenwald is with the Center for Biological Diversity, which filed the lawsuit that led to the change. 

He says these fish and many others are being threatened by increased demands on water, made worse by climate change, and by competition from invasive species like bullfrogs and catfish.

"There really is an extinction crisis in Southwest rivers and streams," he says.

On the otter question, Greenwald says that his group would welcome the reintroduction of otters, since they were originally a part of the ecosystem that allowed native fish to thrive.

Also, Wednesday the Fish and Wildlife Service finalized designation of 710 river miles as critical habitat.  That means federal agencies will have to consider potential impacts to the fish when issuing permits for things like grazing.