Advocates sue to protect monarchs, Northern spotted owls

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife advocates are suing federal officials in a bid for greater protections for monarch butterflies, northern spotted owls and eight other species inching toward possible extinction.

The move comes after federal officials have said previously that the species named in the lawsuit needed protections, but that other imperiled plants and animals had higher priority.

The Center for Biological Diversity asked a U.S. District Court in Washington on Thursday to order the Fish and Wildlife Service to move immediately to grant the species protections under the Endangered Species Act.

Other species in the lawsuit include the eastern gopher tortoise of the Southeast; a New Mexico chipmunk and three types of mussels in Texas.

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