Regional
3:23 pm
Tue January 5, 2010

Lawsuit: NM Butterfly In Danger

New Mexico – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is being sued over an earlier decision not to add to the federal endangered species list a rare butterfly found only in southern New Mexico.

The lawsuit over the Sacramento Mountains Checkerspot butterfly was filed Monday in federal court by WildEarth Guardians. The action is part of a campaign started last week to persuade the Obama administration to make endangered species a priority.

Environmentalists have made attempts over the years to get the butterfly on the list, but the Fish and Wildlife Service has denied their petitions.

The butterfly's habitat is limited to about four square miles of high elevation meadows in the Cloudcroft area.

WildEarth Guardians contends the butterfly faces several threats, including insecticide spraying and climate change.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.