Rare snake wins protection under critical habitat lawsuit

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Federal officials say a rare snake has won protection in two states under a critical habitat lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday that 325,679 acres of critical habitat in Mississippi and Alabama will be protected for the rare black pinesnake. That means federal agencies must consult with the wildlife service for any federally funded or permitted projects to make sure activities do not harm the pinesnake or its habitat.

The new rule will protect critical habitat, including areas in Forrest, George, Greene, Harrison, Jones, Marion, Perry, Stone and Wayne counties in Mississippi and in Clarke County, Alabama.

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