US Fish and Wildlife protects Texas invertebrates

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Associated Press

Posted on July 9, 2013 at 6:02 AM

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A federal agency says it will protect six species of aquatic invertebrates native to West Texas as endangered and is designating 450 acres of land as critical habitat for these species

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Monday that four species of spring snails and two of amphipods — minute crustaceans — are in danger of extinction due to the loss of the natural springs where they live. Some of these species have awaited protection since 1976.

The decision comes from a settlement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service and the Center for Biological Diversity, which works to protect endangered species.

The protected lands located in Reeves, Jeff Davis and Pecos counties are mostly owned by federal and state agencies and the Nature Conservancy.

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