Conservation group: Utah fish is endangered

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Center for Biological Diversity has filed a petition seeking to have a small fish in the Virgin River Basin listed as an endangered species by the federal government.

The Virgin River spinedace (SPYN-days) is a silvery minnow with a brassy sheen and black, sooty speckles. The fish is endemic to the Virgin River Basin in southwestern Utah, northwestern Arizona and southeastern Nevada, but now is found almost exclusively in Utah.

The federal government, Utah and conservation groups reached agreement in 1996 to try to return the fish to at least 80 percent of its historic habitat. But the Center for Biological Diversity said in a statement Tuesday that those goals have not been met and that the fish needs federal protection to have a chance at survival.

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