Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Eight New Species Proposed as Endangered

This morning the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released updates on several Endangered Species Act proposals. First, it withdrew the proposed listing for Cook's Petrel.
The world population for Cook’s petrel is currently estimated to be approximately 1,300,000 individuals, with an increasing population trend due to predator eradication efforts. In addition, the Service found evidence of active support for the conservation of this species that has also contributed to its increasing numbers. The proposal was originally published in the December 17, 2007, Federal Register.
Second, the FWS is proposing two South American species, the Galápagos Petrel and the Heinroth’s Shearwater, to be listed as threatened.
Primary factors found to cause population declines in both species include predation by introduced rats, cats, pigs, and dogs and non-native invasive plants....

The Galápagos petrel is a large, long-winged gadfly petrel that is endemic to the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador.  The Heinroth’s shearwater is a small, dark brown shearwater that occurs from the Bismarck Archipelago and the seas around Bougainville Island to the east of Papua New Guinea and the island of Kolombangara in the Solomon Islands.
Third, six species from Europe, Asia, and Africa are being proposed as endangered species.
The following species are proposed to be protected as endangered: the Cantabrian capercaillie, the Marquesan imperial pigeon, the Eiao Polynesian warbler, the greater adjutant, Jerdon’s courser and the slender-billed curlew....

The primary factors causing the population declines vary by species, but include habitat loss and modification, overutilization (e.g., hunting, collection), inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms, and other natural and manmade factors, including pesticide use and disturbance.

All of the proposed new listings are for foreign species. These listings have little direct conservation effect but put restrictions on trade of birds and bird parts.