- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 24, 2016

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A wildlife advocacy group has filed notice that it intends to sue the U.S. government for failing to act on petitions to protect more than 400 plants and animals under the Endangered Species Act.

The Center for Biological Diversity accuses the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of leaving hundreds of species in limbo.

It says the Florida sandhill crane, white tailed ptarmigan and eastern diamondback rattlesnake are among those species awaiting a government decision.

The advocacy group in 2011 reached a settlement that required the government to make initial findings on protections for more than 700 species. Final decisions on most of those plants and animals still are pending, despite findings by federal officials that protections were warranted.

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