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Feds propose dropping songbird from endangered species list

Posted at 4:15 PM, Apr 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-11 16:15:16-04

Federal officials say it's time to drop the Kirtland's warbler from the endangered species list.

The colorful songbird was on the brink of extinction 30 years ago.

But it has bounced back, with help from a partnership between government agencies and nonprofit groups that preserves the warbler's habitat and battles its arch-enemy, the brown-headed cowbird.

The Kirtland's warbler nests mostly in the jack pines of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, although it has expanded its range in recent years.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Wednesday the bird's population is estimated at more than 2,000 pairs.

That's more than double the number required to consider the species recovered.

The agency will have a year to make a final decision about the warbler's status.

The public comment period ends July 11.