Wildlife officials: Lizard off threatened list

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Updated: 3/31 10:30 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Wildlife officials say a tiny lizard found only on Southern California's Channel Islands has been removed from the federal list of threatened species after 37 years.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Monday that the island night lizard is no longer subject to its threatened status under the Endangered Species Act. It had been protected since 1977.

The move came after recovery efforts that included removing non-native species like goats and feral cats from the three islands the lizard calls home.

Officials estimate 21 million island night lizards now live on San Clemente Island, about 15,000 inhabit San Nicolas Island and 17,000 can be found on Santa Barbara Island.

The soft-skinned lizard averages from between 2.6 to 4.3 inches long.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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