USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Amidst catastrophic population declines leaving fewer than 200 known pairs in existence in the early 1970s, the Kirtland's warbler seemed to be rapidly heading towards extinction. But after decades of partnership efforts among federal and state agencies, industry and conservation groups, this songbird has rebounded, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now proposing to remove the Kirtland's warbler from the list of endangered and threatened species. The proposal opens a 90-day public comment period that will help inform a final decision.
“Kirtland’s warblers were once on the brink of extinction and one of America’s rarest birds, but today they represent the power of partnership to recover imperiled wildlife,” said Tom Melius, Midwest Regional Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Without a doubt, this bird’s recovery is the result of cooperation among states, local residents, federal agencies and conservation groups. This dedicated conservation community is committed to addressing the needs of the Kirtland’s warbler into the future.”
“The recovery of Kirtland’s warbler is a great Michigan success story,” said Keith Creagh, director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. “Today’s announcement by the Fish and Wildlife Service is the culmination of years of hard and thoughtful work by the DNR and partners. Together, we’ve been able to support sustainable harvest of jack pine, creating the large areas of forest habitat where this song bird thrives while at the same time providing local economic prosperity.”
Kirtland’s warblers, which nest only in young jack pine stands in Michigan, Wisconsin and Ontario, and winter in The Bahamas, were among the first wildlife in the United States identified as being at risk of extinction. Populations of the small songbird dipped to a low of 167 pairs in 1974 and again in 1987 before