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In this undated image provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Andy Plauck, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, holds an American eel taken from the Osage River in Missouri. The Obama administration is taking steps to extend federal protections to hundreds of animals and plants, including the American eel, across the country, compelled by a pair of recent legal settlements that targeted species mired in bureaucratic limbo even as they inch toward potential extinction.

AP/USFWS