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Caribou may lose endangered status

Published On: Dec 18 2012 11:36:17 AM CST

SPOKANE, Wash. -

The federal government may remove endangered species protection from the woodland caribou, which is found in Idaho, Washington and Canada.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it will take another look at the Selkirk population of caribou and that removing them from protection may be warranted.

The agency made that announcement Tuesday in response to a petition from the Pacific Legal Foundation, Bonner County in Idaho and the Idaho State Snowmobile Association.

That petition says the Selkirk population of caribou is not significant and not worthy of protection. Those groups oppose a proposal to set aside hundreds of thousands of acres of land as caribou habitat.

The Center for Biological Diversity says this is the last population of caribou in the lower 48 states and should be protected.

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