Arroyo Toad Gets Critical Habitat
Responding to lawsuits filed by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized 6,807 acres of critical habitat in Santa Barbara County—and a total of 98,336 acres throughout Southern California—for the arroyo toad this week. Here, the habitat runs along the Sisquoc River and the Upper Santa Ynez River Basin. The two agencies have been embroiled in litigation ever since the Bush administration tried to designate just a fraction of that space as critical habitat for the small and quickly disappearing amphibian. According to the CBD, only 23 populations of the arroyo toad survive today, scattered from Monterey to San Diego counties.