OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A proposal by the U.S, Fish and Wildlife Service published Tuesday would list a small fish known as the peppered chub as an endangered species and designate parts of rivers in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and New Mexico as its critical habitat.
The minnow-like fish once found in each of the four states and in Colorado is now found only in parts of the upper South Canadian River in New Mexico and Texas, one of the four river sections proposed for protection, according to the plan published in the Federal Register.
“Three other river stretches are also proposed for critical habitat protection, since the sole surviving peppered chub population could disappear at any time, necessitating swift reintroduction elsewhere to prevent extinction and enable recovery,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity, which filed a lawsuit to protect the fish.
The four river stretches makeup nearly 1,100 miles and include parts of the upper South Canadian, the lower South Canadian River in Texas and Oklahoma; the Cimarron River and the Ninnescah Rivers, which both flow in Kansas and Oklahoma.
Public comment on the proposal may be submitted electronically to http://www.regulations.gov or by mail to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
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