The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service agreed Tuesday to resolve the status of hundreds of potential endangered species by 2018. That means the end of a long wait for a Northwest frog.

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In the wild, the

Oregon spotted frog

only survives in about 30 ponds, but it has a lot of friends in the region. It is being raised in captivity at

in Portland

and Seattle, and even at a

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Washington state prison

. The spotted frog is one of several hundred plants and animals that are on the endangered species candidate list.

The Center for Biological Diversity says that on average, it has taken the federal government 17 years to finish the process of listing these candidates as endangered.

The center and another environmental group sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency has agreed to a settlement. It will resolve its backlog, from the Acuna Cactus to the Pacific Walrus, in six years.

In exchange, the environmental groups said they will file fewer petitions to have species listed as endangered. The Oregon spotted frog should get its decision within two years.


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