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Feds to delay seeking legal protection for monarch butterfly

FILE - In this July 29, 2019, file photo, a monarch butterfly rests on a plant at Abbott's Mill Nature Center in Milford, Del. Trump administration officials are expected to say this week whether the monarch butterfly, a colorful and familiar backyard visitor now caught in a global extinction crisis, should receive federal designation as a threatened species. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

By JOHN FLESHER AP Environmental Writer
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The monarch butterfly will have to wait longer to receive protection under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tells The Associated Press that the black-and-orange butterfly’s population has fallen enough to qualify for listing as threatened or endangered. But other species with a higher priority must be considered first. Officials plan to propose listing the monarch in 2024 unless its situation improves. They say a nationwide volunteer effort to restore habitat for the butterfly is helping. But environmental groups say it’s not enough.


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