On February 7, the Fish and Wildlife Service issued a press release announcing a new final rule designating critical habitat for the arroyo toad (Anaxyrus californicus).  The rule (pdf) designates about 98,366 acres of land as critical habitat ranging from portions of Santa Barbara County in the north to San Diego County in the south.  By comparison, the prior final rule, available here (pdf), designated about 11,695 acres of land as critical habitat.  The Service excluded approximately 11,697 acres of land subject to final habitat conservation plans, tribal lands, military lands, and lands subject to a river management plan under section 4(b)(2) of the Endangered Species Act.  But, notably, the Service declined to exclude large areas of land covered by final, permitted conservation plans, such as the Western Riverside Habitat Conservation Plan, because the areas are not permanently conserved and managed even where the arroyo toad is covered by such plans.  A status review of the species was completed in 2009 and is available here (pdf).  With the rule change, the Service also changed the taxonomic nomenclature of the species from Bufo californicus to Anaxyrus californicus.