Protected Water Snail|Habitat May Increase

     WASHINGTON (CN) – Four species of freshwater snails may soon have a greater range of protected habitat, according to proposed rules by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The snails are endemic to the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge and a complex of springs in nearby Chaves County, New Mexico.
     In a previous designation of critical habitat, the agency excluded the Bitter Lake refuge from the designation because special management plans for the species were already in place inside the refuge.
     The Roswell springsnail, the Koster’s springsnail, Noel’s amphipod and the Pecos assiminea were listed under the Endangered Species Act by the agency in August of 2005.
     In other endangered snail actions, the agency proposes to reclassify the tulotoma snail from endangered to threatened as the agency has documented improvement in tulotoma populations over the last 15 years, including the discovery of several populations that were unknown when the species was listed.

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