Wednesday, March 21, 2007

American croc no longer listed as endangered

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has declassified the American crocodile as an endangered species, saying the animal has rebounded from the edge of extinction. The species has rebounded in the United States from just 300 in 1976 to an estimated 2,000 today. The reptile remains protected under the federal Endangered Species Act even though it was downgraded to a "threatened" species, making it illegal to harass, poach or kill the reptiles. "It's just one step closer to recovery, but it still has many, many threats," Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Tom MacKenzie said in announcing the move Tuesday. "It's still protected with the full force of federal law."

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