The Obama administration has issued a new interpretation of the Endangered Species Act aimed at streamlining the classification of threatened plants or animals.

The Bush-era policy was withdrawn last spring after two federal courts rejected it.

The new policy would clarify that a species could be listed as threatened or endangered if threats occur in a "significant portion of its range," even if the threat does not apply in the entire range.

Previously, the plants or animals could have different classifications in neighboring states.

A 2007 rule allowed for federal protection only where a plant or animal was battling for survival.

Under that policy, animals such as the gray wolf and Preble's meadow jumping mouse were classified differently in neighboring states.

Associated Press