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U.S. agency proposes protection for 15 isle species

By Michael Tsai

LAST UPDATED: 9:45 p.m. HST, Oct 21, 2012

The picture-wing fly, anchialine pool shrimp and Stenogyne cranwelliae exist in relative obscurity, and unless special action is taken, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says, they could cease to exist altogether.

The fly, shrimp and plant are among 15 species on Hawaii island that are in danger of becoming extinct in the foreseeable future, according to the agency, which is proposing that they be protected under the Endangered Species Act. The agency is soliciting information from the scientific community and the public until Dec. 17 to help make a final determination.

The 15 species, which include 13 plants, are spread across 10 different ecosystems on the island. 

The proposal stems from a court-approved work plan that resolves a series of lawsuits by the Center for Biological Diversity seeking initial or final decisions on whether to add about 757 plants and animals to the endangered list by 2018.

The agency said that the intent of the agreement “is to significantly reduce litigation-driven workloads and allow the agency to focus its resources on the species most in need of the ESA’s protections over the next five years.”

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