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The fate of the California gnatcatcher
The fate of the California gnatcatcher

Southern California developers are petitioning federal authorities to kick the California gnatcatcher off the list of threatened species, where it's been since 1993. They're backed by a scientific study, which they helped fund, showing a lack of DNA evidence for classifying the nondescript local songbird as a genetically unique subspecies. Rather, the study concludes, the California gnatcatcher is just a member of a common gnatcatcher species, albeit one with slightly different coloration. Proponents of de-listing the small, blue-gray bird note that it has had an outsize effect on development in the region because federal law requires the preservation of critical habitat for...

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