New Mexico – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will review 67 plants and animals found throughout the Southwest for possible protection under the Endangered Species Act.
This week's decision is in response to a petition filed in 2007 by a conservation group that has sought the review of hundreds of species from the West Coast to the Great Plains.
So far this year, the agency has promised to review 110 species as a result of the group's petitions.
The 67 species the agency will consider for possible protections include:
-- the Arizona striped whiptail, a lizard found only in a small area in southeastern Arizona
-- four salamanders found only in Texas
-- a pupfish on White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico
-- a cave scorpion that lives at Grand Canyon National Park
-- several shrubs and flowering plants in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas
-- and more than a dozen snails, including one that lives among two rock slides on Cook's Peak in New Mexico.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.