RENO, Nev. (AP) — U.S. wildlife officials have agreed to consider Endangered Species Act protection for a rare toad in northern Nevada's high desert where one of the biggest producers of geothermal energy in the nation wants to build another power plant.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday that conservationists presented "substantial scientific" information suggesting the Dixie Valley toad could be at risk of extinction.
It concluded the Center for Biological Diversity's petition warrants a yearlong examination of the 2-inch-long (5-centimeter-long) toad's status.
It's only found in an area covering less than 3 square miles (7 square kilometers) in the marshy remnant of an ancient dried-up lakebed east of Reno.
U.S. land managers are considering Ormat Technologies' plans for a geothermal plant there next to the U.S. Naval Air Station Fallon.