The Obama administration is expected to announce this week if the dunes sagebrush lizard will be listed as an endangered species. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports Tom Buckley, a spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Albuquerque, says a decision may come as early as Thursday in Washington.
An occupant of wind-swept dunes in oil country, the lizard exists only in four counties of southeastern New Mexico and four others in West Texas. Buckley says he expects either Interior Secretary Ken Salazar or Daniel Ashe, director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, to make the finding public.
A listening could hinder energy operations in the lizard's habitat.