Environmentalists fight move to reduce beetle’s protections

Environmentalists fight move to reduce beetle’s protections

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An environmental group is challenging a recent U.S. government decision to reclassify a large scavenging beetle as threatened instead of endangered with a lawsuit.

The Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity said Tuesday it plans to sue over last fall’s move to list the American burying beetle as threatened. It had been considered an endangered species since 1989, and the location of its habitat in Plains states created issues for the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Federal officials have said that conservation efforts over the past 30 years have helped the beetle’s population recover. It can now be found in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Massachusetts.