LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Department of Interior says a subspecies of Nevada butterflies is endanger of extinction, but will not immediately be protected under the federal Endangered Species Act because of limited funding.

A federal report determined the Mt. Charleston blue butterfly found in southern Nevada is threatened because of its vulnerable habitat. But the Department of Interior says it must tend to other endangered species first.

Federal officials say they will monitor the butterflies found primarily on the eastern ridges of the Spring Mountains near Las Vegas and will add new protections if an emergency situation develops.

Officials from the Center for Biological Diversity decried the federal government’s decision, saying the butterfly will be doomed to extinction if it is not protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


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