Center for Biological Diversity

Endangered Bird Trends

Northeast      

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.

Brown pelican

BROWN PELICAN, ATLANTIC DPS (Pelecanus occidentalis)

brown pelican population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 268%

ESA status: Delisted

List year: 1970

Delisted: Final 1985

Recovery plan: 1980

SUMMARY
The Atlantic population of the brown pelican ranges from the eastern Gulf of Mexico along the Atlantic Coast to New England. The population was driven to near-extinction by DDT-caused eggshell thinning, habitat loss and breeding-ground disturbance. On the Atlantic Coast, the pelican had increased from 2,796 pairs in 1970, when it was listed as endangered, to 10,300 in 1985, when it was delisted. On the eastern Gulf Coast, it increased from 5,100 pairs in 1970 to 5,682 in 1999.

Kirtland's warbler

KIRTLAND'S WARBLER (Dendroica kirtlandii)

Kirtland's warbler
Kirtland's warbler, Dendroica kirtlandii, population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 1,077%

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1967

Downlisted: Determination 2012

Recovery plan: 1985

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.

Piping plover, Atlantic DPS

PIPING PLOVER, ATLANTIC DPS (Charadrius melodus)

Atlantic piping plover
Atlantic piping plover, Charadrius melodus, population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 212%

ESA status: Threatened

List year: 1985

Recovery plan: 2003

Critical habitat: 2001

SUMMARY
The Atlantic piping plover initially declined due to hunting and the millinery trade. With these eliminated it increased in the first half of the 20th century, but began declining after 1950 due to development, beach crowding and predation. It was listed as threatened in 1985. Intensive habitat protection and predator control grew its U.S. population from 550 pairs in 1986 to 1,679 in 2015. The 1,600 pair recovery goal was met in 2007 and 2012 through 2015 (although 2014 data is lacking).

Piping plover, Great Lakes DPS

PIPING PLOVER, GREAT LAKES DPS (Charadrius melodus)

Great Lakes piping plover
Great Lakes piping plover population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 295%

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1985

Recovery plan: 2003

Critical habitat: 2001

SUMMARY
The Great Lakes piping plover initially declined due to hunting, egg collecting and the millinery trade. More recent declines are the result of development, predation and human recreation in plover nesting habitat. When the plover was listed as endangered in 1985, only 19 pairs remained in the Great Lakes region. The species continued to decline to 12 pairs in 1990 before increasing steadily to 75 pairs in 2015.

Roseate tern, northeastern DPS

ROSEATE TERN, NORTHEASTERN DPS (Sterna dougallii dougallii)

Roseate tern, northeastern DPS
population graph for Roseate tern, northeastern DPS

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 30%

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1987

Recovery plan: 1998

SUMMARY
The Northeast population of the roseate tern initially declined due to the millinery trade, then later by loss of habitat to coastal development. The tern is now threatened by development, erosion, climate change, predation and potentially wind turbines. Since being listed in 1987, the U.S. population of nesting roseate terns has fluctuated but increased overall. There were 2,995 pairs in 1988, the population peaked at 4,310 pairs in 2000, then fell through 2008, but had increased to 3,901 by 2015.

Whooping crane

WHOOPING CRANE (Grus americana)

Whooping crane
Whooping crane population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 923%

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1967

Recovery plan: 2007

Critical habitat:1978

SUMMARY
The whooping crane declined precipitously in the late 1800s and early 1900s due to hunting and habitat loss. It remains threatened by habitat degradation, collisions with power lines, and oil and gas development. When listed as endangered in 1967, the whooping crane consisted of 43 wild and 7 captive birds. Thanks to extensive conservation efforts, the species had grown to 440 wild and 161 captive birds by 2014.

 

Extinct or Extirpated Prior to ESA Listing:


Bachman’s warbler

BACHMAN'S WARBLER (Vermivora bachmanii)

Bachmanís warbler

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1967

SUMMARY
Bachman’s warbler was described by James Audubon in 1833. It was driven extinct by intensive logging of its breeding habitat in the United States beginning in the early 1900s. It was considered common until about 1910, when intensive logging began, and it was rare by the 1930s. Its last confirmed sighting was in 1962 in the I'on Swamp. There was an unconfirmed sighting of the bird in its Cuban wintering grounds in 1984.

 

Listed Under the ESA Less Than 10 Years:


Rufa red knot

RUFA RED KNOT (Calidris canutus rufa)

rufa red knot

ESA status: Threatened

List year: 2014

SUMMARY
The rufa red knot is threatened by climate change, shoreline development, and interferences with prey availability. Data on the bird are sparse and incomplete. While the subspecies’ precise numbers through time are uncertain, decreases in the late 1900s and 2000s were apparent. The knot was listed as threatened in 2014.