RENO, Nev. (AP) — Conservationists are seeking Endangered Species Act protection for a tiny Nevada snail half the size of a pea that is known to exist only in high-desert springs around a huge lithium mine planned near the Oregon state line.
The Western Watersheds Project filed the listing petition last week with the Fish and Wildlife Service for the Kings River pyrg. It’s found in 13 isolated springs 200 miles northeast of Reno.
The petition says the biggest threat to its survival is disruption of groundwater flows anticipated around the 370-foot-deep, open-pit mine.
RELATED: Lithium exploration in Oregon may bring mining boom, environmental fight
RELATED: Oregon lithium project can look to Nevada for preview of possible challenges
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management approved the mine last year, but it’s currently being challenged in federal court in Reno.
Central Oregon Daily News went down to the Nevada-Oregon line earlier this year to look at the efforts to explore and potentially mine for lithium. Watch those in the players below.