Group accuses US of delaying decision: Is turtle endangered?
NEW ORLEANS - An environmental group says it will sue unless the federal government sets a deadline for deciding whether to protect alligator snapping turtles under the Endangered Species Act.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in July that it's studying whether the hard-biting, spike-studded turtle needs classification as endangered or threatened. Surveys have found numbers down as much as 95 percent over much of its historic range from habitat loss and overharvesting.
Center for Biological Diversity attorney Collette Adkins says that without a firm date for a final decision, the process "can take years or even decades."
The group has begun a 60-day settlement period required before filing an Endangered Species Act lawsuit.
Fish and Wildlife spokesman Jeffrey Fleming says the agency has no comment.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Many Baton Rouge hotels completly booked for football-filled weekend
Police investigating racial slur left on LSU students' door
Three in jail following Ascension Parish crime spree
Residents see first debris pick up in Livingston Parish since flood
Tickfaw State Park hopes to reopen sometime in 2017