Center for Biological Diversity

Endangered Bird Trends

Arid West      

 

ESA Population Trend Determined:

 

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.

Bald eagle, continental U.S. DPS

BALD EAGLE, CONTINENTAL U.S. DPS (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

Bald eagle, continental U.S. DPS
population graph for bald eagle, continental U.S. DPS, Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 1,896%

ESA status: Delisted

List year: 1967

Downlisted: Final 1995

Delisted: Final 2007

Recovery plan: 1999

SUMMARY
The bald eagle declined throughout the lower 48 states, and was extirpated from most of them, due to habitat loss, persecution and DDT-related eggshell thinning. The banning of DDT; increased wetland protection and restoration; and an aggressive, mostly state-based reintroduction program caused eagle pairs to soar from 417 in 1963 to 11,040 in 2007, when the bird was removed from the endangered species list.

Black-capped vireo

BLACK-CAPPED VIREO (Vireo atricapilla)

black-capped vireo, Vireo atricapilla, population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 7,346%

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1987

Downlisted: Determination 2007

Recovery plan: 1991

SUMMARY
The black-capped vireo is threatened by habitat loss; cowbird brood parasitism; vegetational succession; and overgrazing by domestic, native and introduced species. Threats have decreased since it was listed as an endangered species in 1987. The estimated number of territorial males in its four largest populations increased from 153 in 1987 to 11,392 in 2013. A portion of this growth is due to survey effort; regardless, the species is known to have increased substantially as a whole.

CACTUS FERRUGINOUS PYGMY OWL, ARIZONA DPS (Glaucidium brasilianum cactorum)

cactus ferruginous pygmy owl

ESA status: Delisted

List year: 1967

Delisted: Final 1978


SUMMARY
The Arizona distinct population segment of the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl is threatened by the loss of much of its preferred riparian breeding habitat in the southern part of the state to urban and agricultural development, and water pumping. Long-term population data are lacking, but it is clear that this once-common species declined dramatically in the 20th century.

California condor

CALIFORNIA CONDOR (Gymnogyps californianus)

California condor population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 391%

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1967

Recovery plan: 1996

Critical habitat: 1976

SUMMARY
The California condor was nearly driven to extinction by DDT, lead poisoning from ingested bullet fragments, and wanton killing. Lead poisoning is currently the primary factor limiting its recovery in Southern California, Arizona and Baja California. Listed as endangered in 1967, condors numbered 55 in the wild and one in captivity in 1968. In 1987, all the wild birds were captured to save the species from extinction. It was reintroduced in 1992 and grew to 270 wild and 167 captive birds in 2015.

Inyo California towhee

INYO CALIFORNIA TOWHEE (Pipilo crissalis eremophilus)

Inyo California towhee
Inyo California towhee, Pipilo crissalis eremophilus, population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 317%

ESA status: Threatened

List year: 1987

Delisted: Proposed 2013

Recovery plan: 1998

Critical habitat: 1987

SUMMARY
The Inyo California towhee occurs in a single, arid mountain range in Southern California. Its habitat has been degraded by cattle, feral horses, burros, off-road vehicles, campers and hikers. It was listed as endangered with critical habitat in 1987. In 1987 there were 175 towhees estimated. The species began increasing due to habitat-protection efforts, and in the mid-1990s it reached its 400-bird delisting goal. In 2011, as many as 729 birds existed; in 2013 the species was proposed for delisting.

Northern Aplomado falcon

NORTHERN APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis septentrionalis)

Northern Aplomado falcon
Northern Aplomado falcon population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 2,700%

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1986

Recovery plan: 1990

SUMMARY
The northern Aplomado falcon declined due to brush encroachment of savanna because of fire suppression and livestock grazing; agricultural conversion; stream channelization; pesticide exposure and predation by brush-loving species. It was extirpated from the United States by 1960, listed as endangered in 1986, and reintroduced to the coastal plain of South Texas in 1993. The breeding population increased from one pair in 1995 to 44 in 2005, then declined to 28 in 2012 and 2013.

Southwestern willow flycatcher

SOUTHWESTERN WILLOW FLYCATCHER (Empidonax traillii extimus)

Southwestern willow flycatcher
Southwestern willow flycatcher population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 137%

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1995

Recovery plan: 2002

Critical habitat: 1997

SUMMARY
The southwestern willow flycatcher declined due to habitat modification and destruction such as stream channel modification, floods, drought and climate change, and parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds. Due to habitat restoration and acquisition, cattle and cowbird reduction and improved reservoir management, known territories increased from 549 to 986 to 1,299 in 1996, 2001 and 2007. The largest increases were in the Gila and Rio Grande river basins.

Yuma clapper rail, U.S. DPS

YUMA CLAPPER RAIL, U.S. DPS (Rallus longirostris yumanensis)

Yuma clapper rail, U.S. DPS
population graph for Yuma clapper rail, U.S. DPS

Status since listing: Stable

Growth since listing: 18%

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1967

Recovery plan: 2010

SUMMARY
The Yuma clapper rail is the only clapper rail to inhabit freshwater. Its wetland habitat on the Lower Colorado River in Arizona and Mexico is threatened by pollution, urbanization, damming, diversion and desiccation. Listed as endangered in the United States in 1967, the rail's U.S. population was estimated at 698 birds in 1973. Despite fluctuations, its population has since been stable overall. In 2008, the U.S. population estimate was 641.

Extinct or Extirpated Prior to ESA Listing:


Masked bobwhite

MASKED BOBWHITE (Colinus virginianus ridgwayi)

Masked bobwhite, Colinus virginianus ridgwayi, population graph

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1967

Recovery plan: 1995

SUMMARY
The masked bobwhite inhabited the subtropical grasslands of southern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. Severe overgrazing transformed these landscapes into thornscrub devoid of dense grass, which does not support the bobwhite. Around 1900 it was numerous, but by 1950 it was extirpated from the United States. Repeated introduction effort have failed. A large captive bred population is available to support future reintroduction efforts.

Listed Under the ESA Less Than 10 Years:

 

Gunnison sage grouse

GUNNISON SAGE GROUSE (Centrocercus minimus)

Gunnison sage grouse population graph

ESA status: Threatened

List year: 2014

Critical habitat: 2014

SUMMARY
The Gunnison sage grouse declined due to habitat degradation and destruction, drought, climate change, disease and small population size. Standardized monitoring of the grouse began in 1996, at which time there were estimated to be 4,038 of the birds. At the time of the species listing as threatened in 2014, 4,705 were estimated.

YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, WESTERN DPS (Coccyzus americanus)

Yellow-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus americanus, population graph

ESA status: Threatened

List year: 2014

SUMMARY
The yellow-billed cuckoo is threatened primarily by the destruction and degradation of its native riparian woodland habitat due to invasive species, grazing and water management practices. Its range contracted dramatically during the 1900s. As of 2013, there were estimated to be 423 breeding pairs (1,705 individuals) remaining in the United States. The bird was listed as threatened in 2014.

Delisted Due to Taxonomic Change:

 

CACTUS FERRUGINOUS PYGMY OWL, ARIZONA DPS (Glaucidium brasilianum cactorum)

cactus ferruginous pygmy owl

ESA status: Delisted

List year: 1967

Delisted: Final 1978


SUMMARY
The Arizona distinct population segment of the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl is threatened by the loss of much of its preferred riparian breeding habitat in the southern part of the state to urban and agricultural development, and water pumping. Long-term population data are lacking, but it is clear that this once-common species declined dramatically in the 20th century.

Mexican duck

MEXICAN DUCK, U.S. DPS (Anas diazi)

Mexican duck

ESA status: Delisted

List year: 1967

Delisted: Final 1978

SUMMARY
The U.S. population of the Mexican duck was thought to be at risk due to the drainage of its marsh habitat and hybridization with mallards. The bird was delisted after it became clear that genetically pure Mexican ducks are very unlikely to occur in the United States. Crosses between Mexican ducks and mallards in the United States essentially constitute an unlistable phenotype of the mallard.