Feds Propose 48 New Endangered Species in Hawaii

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HONOLULU - The federal government is proposing to add 47 species of plants and animals and one insect to the endangered species list — all found only on the island of Kauai.

The action by the Interior Department for the first time would designate a large area as critical habitat for all the species rather than mapping areas for each species.

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, in Honolulu for an island health conference, says the "holistic approach" will benefit the rare species as well as all plants, animals and insects in the ecosystem.

Officials say the ecosystem-based approach to conserving species might also be applied in the Arctic, big river systems of the Southwest and areas of the mountain West.