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Rare NW Ala. Fish Could Get Federal Protection

Florence, AL – A rare sunfish found in northwest Alabama is being considered for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking comments on a petition that would add the spring pygmy sunfish to the endangered species list. The small, mostly green, inch-long fish is found only in small streams in Lauderdale and Limestone counties.

Mike Sandel, a fisheries biologist in Tuscaloosa, says the only habitat of the spring pygmy sunfish is a small stretch of Beaverdam Creek near Moorsville.

Keith Floyd, a fisheries biologist for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, says adding the fish to the endangered species list would not likely cause any hardships to anglers or other stream users, but landowners could see development restrictions placed on their property.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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