Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Three more foreign birds now on U.S. endangered species list

Today marks the first day of endangered species protection for
* Andean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus andinus), native to Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru;
* Chilean Woodstar (Eulidia yarrellii), native to river valleys in Peru and Chile;
* and St. Lucia Forest Thrush (Cichlherminia lherminieri sanctaeluciae), a subspecies endemic to the island of St. Lucia in the West Indies.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced the additions today. “This listing will help the United States work with Latin American and Caribbean countries to conserve and protect these foreign species,” said Acting Service Director Rowan Gould.

Andean Flamingos prefer low-, medium- and high-altitude wetlands in the Andean regions of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. The long-lived waterbird can stand 3.5 feet tall as adults.

No larger than a moth, Chilean Woodstar -- a small hummingbird -- lives in desert river valleys. St. Lucia Forest Thrush prefers mid- and high-altitude forest habitats.
The primary factors causing the population decline of these species include habitat alteration from urbanization and mining activities, predation, agricultural practices such as pesticide spraying, land use conversion, and road development.

The addition of a foreign species to the federal list of threatened and endangered species places restrictions on the importation of either the animal or its parts. Listing also serves to heighten awareness of the importance of conserving these species among foreign governments, conservation organizations and the public.
Forest Thrush illustration courtesy of BirdLife International

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