BILLINGS, Mont. - The Obama administration has struck a new deal with wildlife advocates that would require the Interior Department to consider greater protections for hundreds of imperiled animals and plants.

The agreement was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. by attorneys from the government and the Center for Biological Diversity.

If a judge approves it, the deal would set a 2018 deadline for the administration to decide whether Endangered Species Act protections are needed for 757 species as diverse as the wolverine, the Pacific walrus and the Miami blue butterfly.

A similar agreement in May with the group WildEarth Guardians excluded the wolverine and walrus.

Some of the plants and animals in the agreement were proposed for protection soon after the passage of the Endangered Species Act in 1973.

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