CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says Wyoming's conservation strategy for the greater sage grouse won't by itself be sufficient to keep the birds off the endangered species list.

Fish and Wildlife Director Dan Ashe says that's why states across the birds' range are working on conservation strategies. But he says even then, more litigation could result in sage grouse being listed regardless of what Fish and Wildlife decides soon about the need to list the bird.

Ashe made the remarks Wednesday before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Fish and Wildlife faces a court-ordered deadline of Sept. 30 to decide whether the greater sage grouse warrants protecting as a threatened or endangered species.

Greater sage grouse range across 11 states from California to the Dakotas.