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374 species from Southern U.S. may be listed as endangered

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is conducting an in-depth review to determine whether 374 fresh-water species found in 12 Southern states should be protected under the Endangered Species Act, The Washington Post reports.

The list includes 89 species of crayfish and other crustaceans, 81 plants, 78 mollusks, 51 butterflies and other insects, 43 fish, 13 amphibians, 12 reptiles, four mammals and three birds. They make up most of the 404 that environmental groups have been petitioning to protect, the news source reports.

The Center for Biological Diversity in Kentucky was one group, according to the Lexington Herald-Reader. The list that will be reviewed includes 36 species in Kentucky that have been threatened by habitat destruction, pollution, climate change and invasive species.

Tom Mackenzie, spokesman for the Fish and Wildlife service, said that the work won't start for five years in most places because of staff and funding limitations. The service is also currently tired up in the review of 250 other species that were covered in a lawsuit settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity and another environmental group, the news source reports.  
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