September 27, 2011 / 4:46 AM / 8 years ago

U.S. to investigate protection for 374 water species

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Florida sandhill crane, the Alabama map turtle and the streamside salamander are among 374 freshwater species that could warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act, the government said on Monday.

The Fish and Wildlife Service said it will do an in-depth review to determine if these plants and animals should be listed as threatened or endangered under the Act.

The 374 species in 12 southeastern states that are up for this review are among 404 that environmental groups had petitioned to protect.

The review includes 89 species of crayfish and other crustaceans; 81 plants; 78 mollusks; 51 butterflies, moths, caddisflies and other insects; 43 fish; 13 amphibians; 12 reptiles, four mammals and three birds.

The Florida sandhill crane may be one of the most eye-catching creatures on the list, with its long legs and long neck, it looks like a heron but has a bald patch of red skin on the top of its head.

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