- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 12, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Federal officials plan to study the status of a butterfly once found across the Southwest to see if it warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Monday announced it will conduct a 12-month review of the Great Basin silverspot butterfly.

Environmentalists had petitioned the agency to consider the butterfly’s status, saying it has been losing habitat due to development, grazing, mining and changing hydrological conditions.

With its black markings, the orang-brown butterfly lives in streamside meadows, seeps and wetlands in the high desert. It uses the nectar of thistles and horsemint.

Federal biologists say the butterfly is found in southwestern Colorado and on the Navajo Nation in Arizona and New Mexico. Historically, it was also found in northern New Mexico and eastern Utah.

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