Feds propose to change protection for arroyo toad

LOS ANGELES. Calif. - Federal wildlife officials want to downgrade the status of the arroyo toad from endangered to threatened, saying the California amphibian is no longer in danger of extinction.

The proposal will be published in Thursday's Federal Register.

The small, stocky toad lives in streams and rivers from Monterey to Baja California. It was listed as endangered in 1993 after suffering habitat loss and threats from other frogs.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says conservation efforts over the years have reduced those threats.

Environmental groups are blasting the proposal, calling it premature. The Center for Biological Diversity says threats to the toad's survival remain.

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