ANDREWS COUNTY - A report done by Texas A&M researchers back in June surveyed 19 sites in Andrews County, finding the dunes sagebrush lizard in all of them.
The report said the little guy's presence is found in more than 31,000 acres of land from Andrews County to New Mexico.
If the endangered species list makes those acres "No Man's Land" for oil and gas, operators said it doesn't look good for Andrews.
"If you lay down one drilling rig, you affect a line of jobs that reaches close to probably 1,000 people," Andrews County Independent Oil and Gas Operator, Jackie Gillispie, said. "It could be devastating for us, there's no question about that."
Other businesses said they'll suffer too, some that people may not realize.
The local Holiday Inn Express said they'll lose the majority of their business if they're not housing oil and gas workers.
"The bulk of the business is oil-related, oil and gas-related," General Manager, William Gonzales, said. "We'll have to really ramp up any events that come to town, any weekend events. We'll really have to work with those people that are coming in to try to make up for that business."
In Andrews County, dunes sagebrush lizards were found at all 19 sites surveyed by the report, but with that many lizards, some local oil businesses say that doesn't sound endangered to them.
Dr. Lee Fitzgerald, who was on the team of researchers, told NewsWest 9 Andrews County has so many lizards because its land is their perfect dunes habitat.
That's why lizards were found at all sites as opposed to 8 out of 12 sites for Winkler County and only one site in Ward County.
Whether or not those large numbers classify the lizard as endangered, Fitzgerald said that's up to the standards of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
"It actually shuts down drilling rigs which is the heart and soul of the oil business," Gillispie said. "It will make the oil worker the endangered species, simple as that."
The Andrews Chamber of Commerce has put up a petition to stop the lizard's listing online.
If you'd like to sign it, you can go to wh.gov/4mj.
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