CALIFORNIA -- The California Fish and Game Commission voted 3-2 to designate the California tiger salamander as threatened under the California Endangered Species Act.
The vote comes six years after the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned for protected status for the salamander. The Sonoma County population of tiger salamander has been listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act since 2003.
The commission rejected the petition, claiming the document did not have all the data necessary to prove the salamander population needed protection. The center filed suit, and the commission was forced to accept the petition in 2008. The salamander was designated as a candidate for listing in 2009, beginning a one-year review of the species.
The wine industry, business groups and homebuilders objected to the listing, saying the ruling could adversely affect farming and development. They argued that scientists were unable to show accurate population counts and exaggerated how much rural land might be developed in the future.