Global bird news: 29 June 2009

Sage Grouse

Obama administration stalling on Sage Grouse decision

The Seattle Times

Federal officials are again delaying a decision on whether to list Sage Grouse in 11 Western states as threatened or endangered, leaving in limbo until at least 2010 a spate of industries that face sweeping restrictions if the bird is protected.The chicken-sized grouse ranges from Montana to Arizona and California to Colorado, living alongside livestock grazing, oil and gas drilling and an increasing number of wind power turbines. Its population has been in decline for decades, but how many remain is unknown. For the Obama administration, the decision on Sage Grouse could force an uncomfortable choice. On one side are environmental groups that supported him as a candidate and want the grouse protected. On the other is a renewable energy industry much touted by the president but lately emerging as a potential threat to the bird’s habitat. “The Fish and Wildlife Service is well aware of the significance of this decision, because of its potential impact on a broad area and many activities within that broad area,” said Michael Bean, a senior adviser to Assistant Secretary of Interior Tom Strickland. [more here]

Niceforo's Wren from ProAves

Critically endangered Niceforo’s Wren given another chance

ProAves

ProAves together with World Land Trust-US, American Bird Conservancy and the Corporación Autónoma de Santander (CAS) have taken a significant step forward in their efforts to protect the Critically Endangered Niceforo’s Wren – restricted to the last remnants of dry forest in the Chicamocha Valley of the eastern Andes of Colombia. The purchase by ProAves of over 3,200 acres of vital remaining dry forest habitat – some of the highest quality remaining forest of this type in the entire region – will result in the creation of a new reserve to protect the Niceforo’s Wren. It constitutes the first protected area within the Chicamocha Valley for these and many endemic flora and fauna species. [more here]

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