Center for Biological Diversity

Endangered Bird Trends

Alaska       

ESA Population Trend Determined:

 

Aleutian Canada goose

ALEUTIAN CANADA GOOSE (Branta hutchinsii leucopareia)

Aleutian Canada goose
Aleutian Canada goose, Branta hutchinsii leucopareia, population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 8,184%

ESA status: Delisted

List year: 1967

Downlisted: Final 1990

Delisted: Final 2001

Recovery plan: 1991

SUMMARY
The Kirtland's warbler population declined due to fire suppression, nest parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds, and loss of forest habitat to development and agriculture. It was listed as endangered in 1967, and by 1971 there were only 201 surviving singing males. In response to habitat protection and restoration, as well as cowbird control, the population grew steadily to 2,365 pairs in 2015.

American peregrine falcon

AMERICAN PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus anatum)

American peregrine falcon
American peregrine falcon population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 4,131%

ESA status: Delisted

List year: 1970

Downlisted: Final 1984

Delisted: Final 1999

Recovery plan: 1991

Critical habitat: 1977

SUMMARY
The American peregrine falcon was threatened by the use of DDT and other organochlorine pesticides, which caused eggshell thinning that led to reproductive failure and population declines. The banning of DDT, captive breeding efforts, and nest protections allowed the falcon to increase from 39 breeding pairs in the lower 48 U.S. states in 1975 to 1,650 pairs as of 1999, the year in which the species was delisted.

ARCTIC PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus tundrius)

population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 619%

ESA status: Delisted

List year: 1970

Downlisted: Final 1984

Delisted: Final 1994

SUMMARY
The Arctic peregrine falcon population declined because of eggshell thinning due to DDT and other organochlorine pesticides. Its listing as endangered in 1970, along with the endangerment of other birds of prey, prompted the ban of DDT in 1972. Counts of migratory Arctic falcons at Cape May increased from 103 in 1976 to 741 in 1994. The species was downlisted to threatened in 1984 and delisted in 1994.

Short-tailed albatross

SHORT-TAILED ALBATROSS (Phoebastria albatrus)

Short-tailed albatross
Short-tailed albatross population graph

Growth since listing: Increased

Status since listing: 1278%

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1970

Recovery plan: 2008

SUMMARY
The short-tailed albatross was decimated by commercial collection during the 1940s. More recent threats include volcanic activity, landslides, typhoons, climate change, longline fishing and oceanic plastic pollution. The seabird was rediscovered in 1950s, with 10 breeding pairs. The species was listed in 1970 and estimated at 64 pairs in 1973 and 882 in 2011. The first chick hatched outside of Japan was on Midway Atoll in 2011, where breeding has since continued.

Spectacled eider

SPECTACLED EIDER (Somateria fischeri)

Spectacled eider
Spectacled eider population graph

Status since listing: Stable

Growth since listing: 7%

ESA status: Threatened

List year: 1993

Recovery plan: 2006

Critical habitat: 2001

SUMMARY
The spectacled eider is threatened by ingestion of lead shot and environmental contaminants, oil and gas development, increased predation and possibly hunting. A combined index of the U.S. population indicates that Alaska's two primary populations were relatively stable between the species' 1993 listing (12,082) and 2012 (12,964).

Steller’s eider, Alaska breeding DPS

STELLER'S EIDER, ALASKA BREEDING DPS (Polysticta stelleri)

Stellerís eider, Alaska breeding DPS
population graph for Stellerís eider, Alaska breeding DPS, Polysticta stelleri

Status since listing: 63%

Growth since listing: Stable

ESA status: Threatened

List year: 1997

Recovery plan: 2002

Critical habitat: 2001

SUMMARY
The Steller’s eider's two Alaska breeding populations declined for reasons that are not entirely known, but potential threats include increased predation, poaching, poisoning by ingested lead shot, and changes in ocean conditions and climate. Breeding bird index counts fluctuated greatly between 1997, when the eider was listed under the Endangered Species Act, and 2012. While the 2012 index (358) is much larger than the 1997 (220), the overall population trend is stable.

Extinct or Extirpated Prior to Listing:

 

Eskimo curlew

ESKIMO CURLEW (Numenius borealis)

Eskimo curlew

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1967

SUMMARY
The Eskimo curlew faced extensive habitat loss due to agricultural land conversion and fire suppression. Extreme hunting pressure, especially between 1860 and 1890, led to its apparent extinction. Believed to once have numbered more than 1 million birds rangewide, the species was thought to be extinct between 1905 and 1945, but the actual last documented sighting occurred in 1963. Sporadic, disputed sightings continue to occur.