500 species of plants and animals could receive new protections

Thursday, September 29, 2011 | 8:38 a.m. CDT; updated 11:25 a.m. CDT, Thursday, October 6, 2011

BILLINGS, Mont. — The Obama administration is taking steps to extend new federal protections to a list of imperiled animals and plants that reads like a manifest for Noah's Ark — including the melodic golden-winged warbler, slow-moving gopher tortoise, the slimy American eel and tiny Texas kangaroo rat.