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USFWS Will Review South Western ESA Listings

WASHINGTON (CN) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will begin a one year status review on whether 67 species endemic to the southwestern U.S. should be protected under the Endangered Species Act.

The 67 species were included in a petition by WildEarth Guardians seeking a listing determination under the act, on 475 species.

The agency also determined that for 125 other species, the petition did not present substantial information indicating that listing might be warranted. In previous actions on this petition the USFWS has initiated a status review on nine species of mussels and determined that for 270 other species substantial information that listing might be warranted was not presented.

WildEarth Guardians has been a vocal critic of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The group argued on its Web site that the under the Obama administration the agency has moved even slower on its listing determinations than it did under the Bush administration, which many environmentalists considered to be opposed on principle to listing under the Endangered Species Act.

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