Just 10 years after its official discovery, one of Texas' rarest amphibians is in immediate danger of extinction. That's why last week the Center for Biological Diversity and Save Our Springs Alliance filed a notice of intent to sue for emergency protections. The two-inch-long Jollyville Plateau salamander spends its entire life underwater and has experienced serious decline, as well as deformities, from urban development polluting its spring and wet-cave habitats. Now it's in more danger than ever from the city of Austin's planned construction of a water-treatment plant in the heart of its habitat. In fact, one population has already been lost to the mere drilling of a test well.
"The Jollyville Plateau salamander needs immediate protection under the Endangered Species Act to survive," said Collette Adkins Giese, a newly hired Center attorney and the world's first lawyer focused exclusively on protecting rare amphibians and reptiles. "The Fish and Wildlife Service has a clear duty to emergency-list the species."