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USFWS rejects 25 ESA petitions, but approves one for endemic grass species in Big Bend NP

The federal Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday declined 25 separate petitions to list a variety of species as endangered or threatened, including the high-profile Pacific walrus, which is contending with sharp climate change trends in the Arctic where it spends much of its life atop floes of floating sea ice.

The agency also declined a listing petition for the Florida Keys mole skink, a subspecies of lizard that lives on beaches and in coastal forests that face rising seas and were just swept by Hurricane Irma. The service determined that while the skink’s habitat could shrink by as much as 44 percent at the high end, most of the habitat and soils that the species needs “will remain into the foreseeable future,” at least out to the year 2060.



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