Press Release
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public comment on proposed critical habitat for Dixie Valley toad
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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public comment on a proposed rule to designate approximately 930 acres of critical habitat in Nevada for the endangered Dixie Valley toad. The proposed critical habitat is in Churchill County on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Department of Defense and encompasses the entire range of the toad’s only population. 

The Dixie Valley toad is the smallest of the western toads and is found only in Nevada. Its range is restricted to wetland and upland habitat that is fed by hot springs in Dixie Valley northeast of Fallon. Primary threats to the Dixie Valley toad include geothermal development, disease, predation by other non-native frog species, groundwater pumping for human and agricultural use, and climate change climate change
Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and caused change on a global scale.

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“The proposed critical habitat includes essential areas for the toad to thrive and support all of its life stages,” said Service biologist Chad Mellison. “This includes diverse wetland vegetation, wetted areas near the vegetation, upland habitat between wetland areas, food sources on land and in the water, and the existing natural variation in water quality, quantity and temperature of the wetlands.”

The Service seeks input from the public, Tribes, other government agencies, the scientific community, industry and other interested parties on the proposed rule and draft economic analysis. The designation of critical habitat would not affect land ownership or establish a wildlife refuge, preserve, or other conservation area conservation area
A conservation area or wildlife management area is a type of national wildlife refuge that consists primarily or entirely of conservation easements on private lands. These conservation easements support private landowner efforts to protect important habitat for fish and wildlife. There are 13 conservation areas and nine wildlife management areas in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

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The proposed rule is available on the Reno Fish and Wildlife website,, and will publish in the Federal Register in the coming days, opening a 60-day public day comment period. Upon publication, the proposal, draft economic analysis, other supporting materials, and information on how to submit comments can be found on by searching under docket number FWS-R8-ES-2023-0188.

For more information on this proposed rule, please see our frequently asked questions here: Frequently Asked Questions - Dixie Valley Toad Proposed Critical Habitat

Story Tags

Endangered and/or Threatened species
Habitat conservation