Court denies earthworm protection
The giant Palouse earthworm isn’t that big, doesn’t spit and doesn’t smell like lilies, and now a federal court has decided it is not time to grant the worm endangered species protection.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week affirmed a lower court ruling that found there is not enough evidence to prove the little-seen worm is threatened. Justices found that virtually all information about the creature is limited and inconclusive.
In April, University of Idaho officials announced that living specimens of the worm were captured for the first time in two decades. While the 9th Circuit decision involved a petition filed several years ago, environmentalists have since filed a new petition seeking endangered species protection.