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Feds seek to protect map turtles in 4 Gulf states

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Monday that the closely related Pascagoula map turtle doesn't need that status.

NEW ORLEANS — The federal government says it is proposing threatened status for the Pearl River map turtle, a species found only in Mississippi and Louisiana.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Monday that the closely related Pascagoula map turtle doesn't need that status.

But it's proposing protection for that turtle and three other lookalikes found in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. 

Without that, it says, agents would have a hard time enforcing a ban on collecting and selling the Pearl River turtle. 

The service posted a preview of the proposal a day ahead of its planned publication Tuesday in the Federal Register. 

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