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Home / Today's News / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: 29 species may need federal protection (1:25 p.m. 8/18/09)

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: 29 species may need federal protection (1:25 p.m. 8/18/09)

Salt Lake City (AP) — Twenty-nine species in more than 20 states — from a rare beach-dwelling plant in Yellowstone National Park to a caddis fly in Nebraska — may need federal protections to avoid extinction, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The agency said Tuesday that 20 plants, six snails, two insects and a fish may warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act but in-depth studies are needed first.

The decision is a response to a 2007 petition by WildEarth Guardians, an environmental group that sought protections for more than 200 species, most of them in the West.

In February, the agency turned down protections for 165 plants and animals and delayed a decision on the remaining 38.

Among the 29 that federal officials said may need protection are the Yellowstone sand verbena, which only lives on the sandy beaches of Yellowstone Lake, several species of milkvetch in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, and a Midwestern mollusk called the Frigid ambersnail.

Diane Katzenberger, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman in Denver, said each of the species will now get a detailed review, including identification of its range, distribution and threats.

Federal officials will then decide whether each needs to be protected as a threatened or endangered species.

Nicole Rosmarino, wildlife program director for Santa Fe, N.M.-based WildEarth Guardians, said she’s pleased with the decision but more needs to be done to protect other species deemed threatened by scientists.

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