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Santa Ana Sucker’s|Critical Habitat Enlarged

WASHINGTON (CN) - The threatened Santa Ana Sucker has gained 1,000 more acres of Southern California's rivers as critical habitat, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The new acreage, in San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange and Los Angeles Counties, brings the total designated to 9,331 acres.

The agency agreed to designate additional critical habitat as part of a settlement agreement with California Trout, Inc., the Center for Biological Diversity and other environmental organizations, over a 2007 suit that argued the agency's original 2005 critical habitat designation was flawed, leaving out several areas known to host the sucker.

The Santa Ana Sucker was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act on April 12, 2000 due mainly to loss of habitat to urbanization and the resulting intermixing of the species with the Owens' Sucker with which the Santa Ana competes for food and breeding grounds.

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