Environmental Groups petition USFWS to list the dunes sagebrush lizard as threatened or endangered
In early May of 2018, the Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife formally petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to list the dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloperus arenicolus) as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973. The environmental groups also requested the designation of critical habitat for the lizard found only in the shinnery oak sand dune ecosystems of West Texas and New Mexico. With habitat in the Permian Basin, a listing of the dunes sagebrush lizard (DSL) would have the potential to impact oil and gas production in the region. Sand mining operations in Texas and New Mexico would also likely be affected by a DSL listing under the ESA. Sport Environmental is tracking developments on this topic and awaiting news from USFWS and other regulatory agencies.