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FW: Conservationists Seek Threatened Status to Save the Cerulean Warbler
- To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com>
- Subject: FW: Conservationists Seek Threatened Status to Save the Cerulean Warbler
- From: Derb Carter <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2000 16:26:48 -0500
- Sender: email@example.com
We petitioned the US Fish & Wildlife Service today to list the Cerulean
Warbler as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. I thought
Carolinabirders would be interested in the press release.
Southern Environmental Law Center
Chapel Hill, NC
> Songbird Declines 70% in Eastern U.S. in 30 Years
> Conservationists Seek Threatened Status to Save the Cerulean Warbler
> CONTACT: Andrew George, S. Appalachian Biodiversity Project, (828)
> Doug Ruley, S. Environmental Law Center, (828)
> Jeffrey Wells, National Audubon Society, (607)
> Bob Gale, Western North Carolina Alliance, (828)
> Brian Cole, Sabbath Project, (828) 771-3749
> ASHEVILLE -- A coalition of 28 local, regional and national conservation
> groups, including the National Audubon Society, submitted a petition to
> U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) today to add the Cerulean Warbler to
> the nation's list of threatened species. The Cerulean population has
> declined an average of 4% a year throughout its eastern U.S. range for a
> total loss of 70% between 1966 and 1999, making it one of the
> fastest-disappearing birds in the country.
> The Cerulean Warbler, known for its brilliant blue plumage and its
> distinctive song, breeds in the summer in eastern U.S. forests and winters
> in Andean forests of South America. Well-known to wildlife watchers, it
> once was common but has become rare as forest habitat in both hemispheres
> has been destroyed and fragmented by logging, road-building, development
> other human activities. In the U.S., the Cerulean's decline has been the
> worst in the core of its range in the Midwest and Southeast, where the
> decline is about 80%.
> "It's well-documented that Cerulean Warblers and other migratory songbirds
> need expansive forests to breed and survive. Conservation of these
> here and in South America is fundamental to saving this species," said
> Jeffrey Wells, Director for Bird Conservation for the National Audubon
> "National forests, parks and other publicly-owned lands are the logical
> place to begin protecting and restoring the Cerulean's breeding habitat in
> the U.S.," said Andrew George, director of the Southern Appalachian
> Biodiversity Project, which has been working on protecting the Cerulean
> many years. "If the Cerulean warbler continues to decline, we will
> continue to lose the clean water, the recreation opportunities, the
> beautiful vistas and tourism benefits that healthy forests provide."
> "As a threatened species, the Cerulean warbler broadcasts important
> about forest health and our irresponsible stewardship. The false
> between jobs versus the environment begs for human creativity," said
> John S. Rausch, a Glenmary priest and economist who coordinates the Office
> of Justice and Peace in the Diocese of Lexington, KY. "As a dead canary
> signals disaster in a coal mine, losing the Cerulean telegraphs lousy
> economics and indicates time to change our forest practices."
> "Right now, there is no law or regulation specifically protecting the
> Cerulean's forest habitat. If the destruction of these forests continues,
> we will lose this bird in our lifetimes," said Douglas Ruley, an attorney
> with the Southern Environmental Law Center. "By listing the Cerulean as a
> threatened species, we can take significant steps now to save it now and
> avoid more extensive measures later."
> Like other migratory songbirds, the Cerulean Warbler performs important
> ecological roles such as insect consumption and pollination. More
> important, as an indicator of forest health, the Cerulean's decline tells
> that the forests on the two continents are in trouble. Numerous studies
> over the years show that the Cerulean needs large tracts of unbroken,
> forest. In South America, the evergreen forests along a narrow elevation
> zone through the Andes where the Cerulean winters have been virtually
> out for agriculture. In the U.S., millions of acres of forest, especially
> along stream banks and rivers where Ceruleans like to nest, have been lost
> to commercial logging, sprawl development, dams and other stream projects.
> "The Cerulean is sounding a warning that our forests are deteriorating,
> along with the many benefits they provide such as clean water, recreation
> opportunities, favorite hunting and fishing spots, and much of our last
> remaining wild land," said Andrew George, director of the Southern
> Appalachian Biodiversity Project, which has worked for years on the issue.
> The petition filed today represents one of the broadest conservation
> ever undertaken in the east, and should result in coordinated forest
> protection throughout the Cerulean's range. It starts a review process
> within the FWS to determine if the Cerulean Warbler will be officially
> protected under the Endangered Species Act. Once it is listed as
> threatened, the FWS must develop a recovery plan for the songbird. The
> conservation groups say the best place to start is on public lands,
> particularly in national forests.
> "These forests appear to harbor much of the Cerulean's habitat, but are
> automatically protected just because they are in public ownership," Ruley
> said. "Too many U.S. Forest Service activities continue to degrade the
> interior forests that the Cerulean Warbler needs."
> Under the Endangered Species Act, the FWS would be required to review any
> federal actions that might jeopardize the Cerulean Warbler. Such actions
> would include the 10-year management plans developed by the Forest Service
> for each individual forest as well as individual timber sales on the
> national forests. Moreover, formally listing the Cerulean would provide
> U.S. government and conservation organizations more opportunity for
> cooperation with their South American counterparts to protect Andean
> The Cerulean would be the first warbler to be listed as threatened under
> Endangered Species Act. Three other species of warbler found in the U.S.
> the list-- Bachman's, Kirtland's, and golden-cheeked-- are endangered.
> Unfortunately, the Bachman's was likely extinct by the time it was listed
> and so did not benefit from protection under the Act. The Kirtlands'
> warbler population, on the other hand, has increased since it was listed
> Joining the National Audubon Society in filing the petition are the Sierra
> Club, the Wilderness Society, Defenders of Wildlife, and 22 local, state
> regional conservation groups from 15 states. The petition is also
> by several of the nation's foremost experts on migratory songbirds,
> including Jeffrey Wells and Frank Gill with the Audubon Society, and John
> Terborgh of Duke University.