Groups file lawsuit over endangered NE beetle

Associated Press
February 23, 2011

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Three conservation groups are suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over Nebraska’s endangered Salt Creek tiger beetle.

The Center for Native Ecosystems, the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and the Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Denver.

The groups claim the agency isn’t protecting enough habitat to save the half-inch long beetle, considered 1 of the rarest insects in the United States.

The groups say the nearly 2,000 acres set aside is inadequate to the task. Megan Mueller, a biologist with the Center for Native Ecosystems, says the beetle needs the protection of additional habitat if it is to have any chance of recovery.

Telephone calls to the Wildlife Service Wednesday evening were not immediately returned.