Feds: Frog may need protection in 19 states

Feds: Frog may need protection in 19 states

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says a spotted frog that lives in 19 Western states may need endangered species protections.

Eight environmental groups petitioned the federal government in 2006 to protect the western population of the northern leopard frog.

The federal agency said Wednesday the frog has disappeared across vast portions of its historic range in the West and parts of Canada. Officials say the frog is threatened by habitat loss, disease, nonnative species, pollution and climate change.

The Fish and Wildlife Service plans a thorough scientific review of the frog's status. The agency will then decide whether it will propose the frog for endangered species protections.

The smooth-skinned frog can be green, brown or sometimes yellowish with dark oval spots.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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