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The New York Times reports the find is surprising because the frog was discovered in one of the world’s most populated urban areas.

Researchers say the new frog species was confused for a long time with a frog it closely resembles, the southern leopard frog.

So far, the new species has been positively identified on Staten Island. A Rutgers University doctoral candidate in ecology and evolution says it probably inhabited the city’s other boroughs at one time.

MONTANA

Court rejects lawsuit, lets wolf hunt continue

BILLINGS — A federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected a lawsuit from conservation groups that want to block wolf hunts that have killed more than 500 of the predators across the Northern Rockies in recent months.

The ruling from a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Congress had the right to intervene when it stripped protections from wolves last spring.

Lawmakers stepped in after court rulings kept wolves on the endangered list for years after they reached recovery goals. Wildlife advocates claimed in their lawsuit that Congress violated the separation of powers by interfering with the courts.

But in an opinion authored by Judge Mary Schroeder, the court said Congress was within its rights, and that lawmakers had appropriately amended the Endangered Species Act to deal with Northern Rockies wolves.

That amendment marked the first time Congress has forcibly removed a species’ endangered status. It was tacked onto a federal budget bill by Idaho Republican Rep. Michael K. Simpson and Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester.

“This case has made it clear that those who persist in trying to manage wildlife through the courts, in spite of all scientific evidence that this species has recovered, no longer have a defensible position,” Mr. Simpson said Wednesday.

UTAH

Air Force base facing fines for storing mercury

SALT LAKE CITY — Hill Air Force Base in Utah is facing millions of dollars in fines for cleaning 60 pounds of leaked mercury with vacuums and storing the hazardous waste in unsafe containers for years.

The Utah Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste has given base officials a notice of violation for the 2007 mercury spill. The agency says the spill was handled by untrained workers and stored in plastic containers.

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