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New Mexico's Chupadera springsnail listed as endangered species in U.S.

HOUSTON, July 12 — The Chupadera springsnail, a rare freshwater snail known to exist only in New Mexico, the United States will receive federal protection as an endangered species, a U.S. conservation group said Wednesday.

"Protecting this rare freshwater snail and its habitat under the Endangered Species Act will ensure that this unique piece of New Mexico's natural heritage isn't erased," said Tierra Curry, biologist at the Center for Biological Diversity, a non-profit organization that protects endangered species through legal action and scientific petitions.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reportedly posted a notice in the pre-publication Federal Register saying the listing of the Chupadera springsnail as an endangered species is being made final.

The Service will protect the Chupadera springsnail as endangered and designated about two acres of "critical habitat" essential for its conservation, the Center for Biological Diversity said in a statement.

The springsnail is said to be found at two springs in the Chupadera Mountains in Socorro County, New Mexico, and nowhere else on Earth.

The Chupadera springsnail was first placed on the federal candidate list, a waiting list for federal protection, in 1984.

New Mexico's Game and Fish Department petitioned the federal government in 1985 to declare the snail as endangered.

The Chupadera springsnail is one-tenth of an inch long and lives for only one year. They improve water quality by scraping algae and bacteria from rocks to feed, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. (PNA/Xinhua)

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