Environmentalists seek to protect dunes sagebrush lizard
CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) - A small lizard native to southeast New Mexico is the latest animal to spark a debate between environmentalists, the federal government and oil and gas operators.
The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports a federal report says the habitat for the dunes sagebrush lizard has shrunk to only about 655 square miles (1,696 square kilometers) in the Mescalero Sands area. That's a region east of Artesia and northern Eddy County.
Environmentalist groups that have recently sued the federal government to force it to protect the lesser prairie chicken are looking at similar action to help the dunes sagebrush lizard.
The rare lizard remains unlisted as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service but is listed as endangered by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.
Information from: Carlsbad Current-Argus, http://www.currentargus.com/
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