- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A legal settlement filed Tuesday requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to decide on Endangered Species Act protections for nine species under deadlines:

-Alligator snapping turtle

Historic range: Mississippi River watershed, from Georgia and northwestern Florida to eastern Texas, and as far north as southeast Kansas, southeast Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. Common in all but extreme north and eastern parts of its range.

Now: Likely gone from Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee, reduced by estimated 95 percent over much of its range.

Decision deadline: September 30, 2020

-Barrens topminnow

Historic range: Caney Fork, Duck and Elk rivers in Tennessee’s Barrens Plateau; population estimated at 4,500 to 5,000 in 1983.

Now: found in four spots, with maximum total population estimated in the hundreds.

Decision deadline: December 31, 2017

-Beaverpond marstonia (tiny freshwater snail)

Historic range: Cedar Creek in the Flint River watershed in Crisp County, Georgia.

Now: Surveys in recent years have failed to find even one.

Decision deadline: April 1, 2017

-California spotted owl

Historic range: California and Nevada.

Now: “The population dropped by as much as 22 percent in the southern Cascades in the last 18 years, and scientists estimate the population was cut in half since 1990 in the central Sierra Nevada.”

Decision deadline: September 30, 2019;

-Canoe Creek pigtoe

Historic and current range: Big Canoe Creek, in Alabama’s Mobile Basin.

“The mussel was only discovered as a distinct species in 2006, and fewer than two dozen individuals have ever been seen.”

Decision deadline: September 30, 2020

— Cobblestone tiger beetle

Historic range: Alabama to Vermont

Now: Winooski River in Vermont, Connecticut River in New Hampshire and Vermont, Sciota River in Ohio, Delaware River in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Whitewater River in Indiana and Coosa River in Alabama.

Decision deadline: September 30, 2019;

-Foothill yellow-legged frog

Historic range: Oregon and California, from Marion County in northern Oregon to Los Angeles County, and from the foothills of the western Sierra Nevada to the San Gabriel Mountains - and possibly into Baja California, Mexico.

Decision deadline: September 30, 2020

-Northern Rockies fisher (a housecat-sized member of the weasel family with a fox-like face)

Historic range: eastern British Columbia and southwestern Alberta through northeastern Washington, Idaho, Montana, northwest Wyoming, and north-central Utah.

Now: small populations found only along the border of Montana and northern Idaho

Decision deadline: September 30, 2017

-Virgin River spinedace (desert minnow)

Historic: throughout the Virgin River basin in northwestern Arizona, southeastern Nevada, and southwestern Utah

Now: its range is now reduced by 55 percent.

Decision deadline: September 30, 2021


Information from legal settlement, lawsuit from Center for Biological Diversity of Tucson, Arizona

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