RUTLAND, VT. >> Federal wildlife officials are considering adding two rare Vermont turtles to the list of nationally endangered species.
The Rutland Herald reports initial findings by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service indicate that both the wood and spotted turtles have been hurt enough to potentially justify their classification as federally endangered species.
The spotted turtle has already received protection as a state-level endangered species.
Mollie Matteson, a Center for Biodiversity scientist, says the population of wood turtles is dwindling because people have polluted the waterways where they live.
The Center for Biodiversity filed a petition advocating for the wood turtle that warranted further consideration by federal wildlife officials.
The Endangered Species Coalition listed the spotted turtle among the country's top 10 species most threatened by habitat loss.