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Associated Press, Published December 04 2009

Feds: Bird may warrant endangered status

BILLINGS, Mont. – Federal officials say a wide-ranging prairie songbird may warrant protections under the Endangered Species Act.

The Sprague’s pipit, which nests on the ground, has seen nearly four-fifths of its population disappear in the last four decades. It breeds in the northern Great Plains, including Minnesota and North Dakota, and southern Canada and winters from Arizona and Texas to Louisiana, Mississippi and northern Mexico.

In 2008, the environmental group WildEarth Guardians petitioned for the bird to be listed as threatened or endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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