9 species environmental group wants added to endangered list

AP News
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Posted: Mar 16, 2016 5:47 PM

A lawsuit filed Wednesday asks a federal court to make the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decide whether nine species should be considered endangered:

—Alligator snapping turtle

Historic range: Mississippi River watershed, from Georgia and northwestern Florida to eastern Texas, and as far north as southeast Kansas, southeast Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. Common in all but extreme north and eastern parts of its range.

Now: Likely gone from Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee, reduced by estimated 95 percent over much of its range.

—Barrens topminnow

Historic range: Caney Fork, Duck and Elk rivers in Tennessee's Barrens Plateau; population estimated at 4,500 to 5,000 in 1983.

Now: found in four spots, with maximum total population estimated in the hundreds.

—Beaverpond marstonia (tiny freshwater snail)

Historic range: Cedar Creek in the Flint River watershed in Crisp County, Georgia.

Now: Surveys in recent years have failed to find even one.

—California spotted owl

Historic range: California and Nevada.

Now: "The population dropped by as much as 22 percent in the southern Cascades in the last 18 years, and scientists estimate the population was cut in half since 1990 in the central Sierra Nevada."

—Canoe Creek pigtoe

Historic and current range: Big Canoe Creek, in Alabama's Mobile Basin.

"The mussel was only discovered as a distinct species in 2006, and fewer than two dozen individuals have ever been seen."

—Foothill yellow-legged frog

Historic range: Oregon and California, from Marion County in northern Oregon to Los Angeles County, and from the foothills of the western Sierra Nevada to the San Gabriel Mountains — and possibly into Baja California, Mexico.

Now: can't be found in an estimated 45 percent of its range in California and from 55 percent of the areas it once could be found in Oregon.

—Northern Rockies fisher (a housecat-sized member of the weasel family with a fox-like face)

Historic range: eastern British Columbia and southwestern Alberta through northeastern Washington, Idaho, Montana, northwest Wyoming, and north-central Utah.

Now: small populations found only along the border of Montana and northern Idaho

—Virgin River spinedace (desert minnow)

Historic: throughout the Virgin River basin in northwestern Arizona, southeastern Nevada, and southwestern Utah

Now: its range is now reduced by 55 percent.

—Wood turtle

Historic: Once common from eastern Canada to Minnesota and Virginia.

Now: rare and declining across its range, with the population down by as much as 70 percent.

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Information from lawsuit filed by Center for Biological Diversity of Tucson, Arizona.