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Lawsuit planned over endangered sparrow habitat

Posted at 7:30 AM, Aug 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-14 03:34:40-04

VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) - The Center for Biological Diversity is planning to sue the federal government over an endangered bird's habitat in Everglades National Park.

The center filed Tuesday a formal notice of intent to sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It says the two agencies have violated the Endangered Species Act with water releases during the dry season that have destroyed the Cape Sable seaside sparrow's habitat and decimated the birds' population.

A wildlife service spokesman says Hurricane Andrew wiped out half the birds' population in 1992, and several subsequent years of wet weather and high water levels exacerbated the problem. He says the agency, the Corps and state officials are addressing the sparrows' needs as they proceed with Everglades restoration.