Flat-bottomed Lizards, You Make the Rockin' World Go 'round
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton to reconsider her decision not to list the flat-tailed horned lizard as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Norton argued that the lizard has plenty of public land on which to live in southwestern Arizona and Southern California. But the court said her analysis was faulty. In other species news, a coalition of enviro groups sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service yesterday for failing to protect spotted owls and Pacific fishers (a relative of the mink and otter) in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range. The groups want the animals listed under the ESA, a move that could reduce logging on millions of acres in the region.