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Southern Arizona Endangered Squirrels Could Receive Additional Federal Protection


There’s new hope for the Mount Graham Red Squirrel in southern Arizona near Safford.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it will consider more protections for the tiny, endangered squirrel species. Wildlife officials say more habitat may be needed to ensure the survival of the Mount Graham Red squirrel. An estimated 75 of the animals remain in the Pinaleno Mountains of western Arizona after fires and development have shrunk their range.

The Service says it also may provide additional protections for the Mojave Poppy Bee of Nevada that faces potential threats from grazing, gypsum mining, recreation and competition from honeybees. Its survival is closely linked to two rare desert poppy flowers in the Mojave Desert.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it has decided to reject a petition to declare Yellowstone's 4,500 bison as a distinct population that warrants special protections.

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