10 Nov 2005

US accused of failing to protect endangered Samoa dove

9:10 am on 10 November 2005

A coalition of environmental groups has filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Interior saying that the agency has allowed 283 species, identified as possibly facing extinction, to languish without protection, under the Endangered Species Act.

The Centre for Biological Diversity and Forest Guardians have filed the suit along with other advocacy groups.

Among the species cited by the coalition is the Many-Coloured Fruit Dove, found in American Samoa as well as in Samoa.

Only roughly 85 birds could be found in 1986, according to the group.

They say populations are threatened by loss of rainforest habitat owing to urbanisation and agriculture, hurricanes and hunting.

The species has been a candidate for protection since 1996.