RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) -- A group of Riverside County property owners, builders and others have petitioned the federal government to remove Endangered Species Act protections for a California songbird.
The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports (http://bit.ly/1kRhw56) the group said in its petition filed Wednesday that the coastal California gnatcatcher is plentiful in Mexico, and doesn't need to be protected.
The group cites new DNA evidence showing that the blue-gray songbird is not a distinct subspecies as previously thought, but a single species that ranges from Southern California to the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife has 90 days to respond to the petition.
When the gnatcatcher was listed as endangered in 1993, federal officials estimated the economic impact of resulting restrictions would total $915 million by 2030.
Information from: The Press-Enterprise, http://www.pe.com