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Mar 9, 2012 5:46 AM by AP

Developer to work for land swap to protect frog

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A developer has agreed to work toward a land swap that would protect an endangered frog that breeds near the developer's land in Harrison County, Miss.

Only about 100 adult Mississippi gopher frogs live in the wild, with another 1,500 or so in zoos, including New Orleans' Audubon Zoo.

Collette Adkins Giese of the Center for Biological Diversity says developer Columbus Communities LLC will pay for appraisals of both parcels, and her group will map them.

Both are steps to prepare a proposal for the U.S. Forest Service to swap DeSoto National Forest land for Forest Service land on the opposite side of the Columbus Communities development, which is called Tradition.

The exchange would let the development proceed while protecting essential habitat for an endangered species, the center says.

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