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CBS Las Vegas, April 17, 2012

Feds Offering Protection to Snails

PHOENIX (CBS Las Vegas/AP) — Two types of snails native to eastern and southern Arizona are getting protection under the Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced this week the designation of the Three Forks springsnail as endangered and the San Bernardino springsnail as threatened.

The listings include conservation areas for the snails.

“We’re very glad these two springsnails are finally getting the Endangered Species Act protection they need to survive,” Noah Greenwald, endangered species director for the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a press release. “The Endangered Species Act is our best tool for saving species like these unique springsnails. The Act has saved more than 99 percent of species under its protection and is recovering hundreds more.”

The population of San Bernardino springsnails has declined because of groundwater pumping and the introduction of pesticides. It now is found in less than half the areas where it formerly lived in Cochise County.

The Three Forks springsnail has become prey to nonnative crayfish, and elk grazing has destroyed its habitat. It is found in the White Mountains of Apache County.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

This article originally appeared here.

Photo © Paul S. Hamilton