US wildlife officials agree to deadline for decision on status of rare Florida snail

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MIAMI — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has agreed to a deadline for deciding whether to declare a rare Florida snail an endangered species.

According to a settlement filed Monday in federal court in Washington, D.C., the wildlife service has until June 30, 2016, to make a decision about the Ichetucknee siltsnail.

The tiny freshwater snail is also known as the sand grain snail. Its habitat is limited to 10 square yards of submerged mosses and cypress roots in Ichetucknee Springs State Park in north Florida.

The Center for Biological Diversity sued the wildlife service in June for allegedly failing to protect the snail under the Endangered Species Act. According to the center, the river feeding the snail's habitat is threatened by pollution and groundwater pumping.

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