TRAVERSE CITY, Mich (AP) Federal officials say they'll investigate whether moose in four Midwestern states should be protected under the Endangered Species Act.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday it has reviewed a petition from environmental groups that want moose in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota listed as an endangered or threatened segment of the overall population.
The agency said it found substantial information suggesting the listing might be justified and will now conduct a more in-depth study and accept information from the public for 60 days.
The Center for Biological Diversity is one of the groups that filed the petition. It says Midwestern moose are being harmed by climate change, habitat loss and disease.
The group is especially worried about moose in Minnesota, where numbers have plummeted the past decade.