Groups seek federal protections for 404 species

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A group of conservation organizations has petitioned the federal government to protect a whopping 404 aquatic species in the South, triggering a massive automatic review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Center for Biological Diversity and others filed the 1,145-page petition Tuesday. It seeks protections for 48 fish, 92 mussels and snails, 92 crustaceans, 82 plants, 13 reptiles, four mammals, 15 amphibians, 55 insects, and three birds.

It includes 10 species of snails in Florida, a turtle in Arkansas, 11 species of crawfish in Tennessee, 26 plants in South Carolina, three beetle species in West Virginia and 13 mussel species in North Carolina.

The petition seeks protections under the Endangered Species Act for the 404 species in all 12 southern states.

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