In what could turn into an unprecedented deal to protect imperiled animals and plants in the U.S., the Interior Department and several environmental groups are working on an agreement to safeguard more than two dozen species under the Endangered Species Act. The agreement would cover such species as the coastal cutthroat trout in Oregon and Washington, the Big Cypress fox squirrel in Florida, the Mississippi gopher frog in the South, and the Chiricahua leopard frog in the Southwest. The Center for Biological Diversity, known for suing the feds to protect species, is one of the groups involved in the talks. The center’s Kieran Suckling said, “[The deal is] certainly not going to protect all of America’s endangered species, but it’s a good start.”