No federal protection for northern leopard frog

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DENVER (AP) -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the western U.S. population of the northern leopard frog doesn't warrant federal protection as a threatened or endangered species.

The agency said Wednesday the species isn't in danger of extinction, and the western U.S. population of the frog doesn't qualify as a distinct population segment that can be considered for protection.

Environmental groups had petitioned the government in 2006 to protect the frog in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

The agency says that while habitat loss, disease, non-native species, pollution and climate change have hurt the frog's populations in the western U.S. and Canada, it's still considered widespread in the eastern U.S. and Canada.