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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service intends to do a year-long determination study on giving the western pond turtle protection under the Endangered Species Act. Numbers of the turtle in the Willamette Valley have plummeted and are thought to be only about 1 percent of historic values. The reptilian is considered a sensitive/critical species under Oregon’s Conservation Strategy, but hasn’t received federal protection, at this point. There is also evidence that the western pond turtle may be two, or even three species, making the remaining animals even more in danger of species loss. The Oregonian reports: http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2015/04/western_pond_turtle_protection.html#incart_river