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Endangered list sought for firefly with double-green flash

August 2, 2019
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An aerial photo taken Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in Bethany Beach, Del., shows a wooden road built on pilings in one of the freshwater wetlands in coastal Delaware where the Bethany Beach Firefly, which some environmentalists want added to the federal Endangered Species List, has been previously found. (AP Photo/Gary Emeigh)
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An aerial photo taken Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in Bethany Beach, Del., shows a wooden road built on pilings in one of the freshwater wetlands in coastal Delaware where the Bethany Beach Firefly, which some environmentalists want added to the federal Endangered Species List, has been previously found. (AP Photo/Gary Emeigh)

BETHANY BEACH, Del. (AP) — Environmental groups are hoping a rare bug found only along Delaware’s southern coast will become the first firefly on the federal endangered species list.

The Portland, Oregon-based groups say the Bethany Beach Firefly and its unique freshwater wetland habitat face threats including coastal development and sea level rise.

Their petition for endangered species status says the firefly faces extinction from the imminent destruction of a major portion of its habitat.

It specifically notes construction of beach homes in a wetland where the firefly was once found to thrive. The developer avoided the need to get a federal permit to fill in the wetland by building an unusual elevated wooden access road.

A state biologist currently surveying the Bethany Beach area has found about a dozen fireflies at four sites.

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