endangered species

The state Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has voted to add the Mississippi gopher frog to Louisiana's list of endangered reptiles and amphibians and to protect Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes and two pine snake species.

The proposed rule change would add the three snakes to the list of reptiles and amphibians that cannot be killed or removed from the wild without a permit.

Scientists don't know of any wild populations of Mississippi gopher frogs in Louisiana. But they once lived in the state, and the species is on the federal endangered list.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is designating nearly 6,500 acres in Mississippi and Louisiana as critical habitat for the endangered Mississippi gopher frog — the only endangered or threatened frog in the Southeast. About 100 live in the wild, and nearly 900 in zoos.