Federal protection sought for 2 species of minnow

Today’s news from the Associated Press was selected by Media Writing student Alexandria Rogers.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing that two species of minnow receive federal protection because their habitat is diminishing.

The sharpnose shiner and smalleye shiner live in the upper Brazos River watershed, an area extending from Crosby County in West Texas eastward into Young County. Drought, reservoirs, salt cedar invasion and other factors are shrinking their habitat.

The Center for Biological Diversity, a national conservation group, announced the effort Monday. The center first petitioned on behalf of the minnows in 2004. Fish and Wildlife must allow for public comment and submit the proposal for scientific review before the agency ultimately determines whether to protect the fish.

More than 620 miles of river habitat also would be protected.

There are currently 58 species in Texas under federal protection.

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