VERO BEACH (CBSMiami/AP) – Two butterflies, native to South Florida, may soon be listed on the endangered species list.
The Florida leafwing and Bartram’s scrub-hairstreak should be listed under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Wednesday.
The agency also has proposed designating more than 17,000 acres of critical habitat for both butterflies.
The proposed listing and habitat designation would resolve a series of lawsuits concerning the agency’s program for listing endangered species.
Both butterflies have been candidates for federal listing since 2006. They are only found in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. The designated habitat would include parts of Everglades National Park and National Key Deer Refuge.
Much of the butterflies’ former habitat range has been lost and their populations have dipped into the low hundreds.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)