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Expanded protections urged by wildlife advocates

This July, federal judges, including U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, have been urged to approve expanded protections for animals that are considered endangered, including the Pacific walrus, the Northern wolverine and the Miami blue butterfly, reports the Fresno Bee.

Already, federal officials have signed agreements with WildEarth Guardians and the Center for Biological Diversity, two organizations that work to help animals through conservation efforts, according to the news source. Signing the proposed agreement would force the government to consider more necessary protections.

Speaking to the source, Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, said, "We know 24 species have already gone extinct while waiting to be put on the endangered list. If these [species] had to wait much longer, many of those would go extinct as well."

The groups petitioning the court hope that the agreement, if passed, will force the government to take a closer look at a "backlog" of imperiled animals that should be added to the endangered species list. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 620 animal species in the U.S. are listed as endangered or threatened.
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