TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) - Environmentalists are launching a lawsuit aimed at speeding up federal action on a request to give endangered species protection to the eastern diamondback rattlesnake.
The Tucson, Ariz.-based Center for Biological Diversity and others filed a formal notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday.
The environmentalists say the rattlesnake is threated by loss of habitat and human predation across the Southeast. There are no bag limits in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.
The agency last year agreed to conduct a review of the request, but spokesman Tom MacKenzie said it will be several years before that can be accomplished. He said that's because the service already is reviewing 400 other species due to prior lawsuits filed by the center.