Eyes on Obama

Two species have gained protections under new president

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In the few months since President Obama took office, his administration has listed two species under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Conservationists are hoping the listings under Obama will far outpace his predecessor’s. During George W. Bush’s eight years in office, an average of eight species per year received federal protection. In fact, the yearly average under Bill Clinton (65) exceeds the total number of species listed during Bush’s entire presidency (60).

The first species to be protected by the new administration is the reticulated flatwoods salamander (pictured)—a species native to Georgia, and parts of Florida and South Carolina.

Listed last week, Phyllostegia hispida is a vine found only on the Hawaiian Island of Molokai, reported The Associated Press. Scientists once thought the vine had gone extinct, but 24 wild plants have been discovered in recent years.