Center for Biological Diversity

Endangered Bird Trends

Southeast       

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.

Bermuda petrel, or cahow

BERMUDA PETREL, OR CAHOW (Pterodroma cahow)

Bermuda petrel
Bermuda petrel population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 366%

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1970

Recovery plan: 2005

SUMMARY
The Bermuda petrel, or cahow, nests in Bermuda and is seen off the North Carolina coast. It was driven to near-extinction by hunting, loss of its beach nesting habitat, and predation by and competition from other birds and invasive rats. Its population increased from 24 nesting pairs when it was listed in 1970 to 112 in 2015. A new nesting colony was created by translocation, and as of 2015 all five of its colonies were fairly well protected from destruction, predation and competition.

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.

Brown pelican, western Gulf Coast population

BROWN PELICAN, WESTERN GULF COAST DPS (Pelecanus occidentalis)

Brown pelican, western Gulf Coast DPS population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 421225%

ESA status: Delisted

List year: 1970

Delisted: Final 2009

Recovery plan: 1980

SUMMARY
The western Gulf Coast brown pelican population declined to near-extinction in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi due to unregulated hunting, habitat loss, and reproductive failure from DDT-caused eggshell thinning. It was listed as endangered in 1970. The population increased from four nests in 1970, to 21,266 in 2005, declined to 12,037 in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina, then increased to 16,853 in 2007. It was delisted in 2009. There were 16,317 nests in 2010 prior to the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe.

Least tern, Interior DPS

LEAST TERN, INTERIOR DPS (Sterna antillarum athalassos)

Least tern, Interior DPS
Least tern, Interior DPS, Sterna antillarum athalassos, population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 603%

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1985

Delisted: Determination 2013

Recovery plan: 1990

SUMMARY
The interior least tern's main threat at the time of its listing was the destruction of habitat due to channel engineering. The species has proven resilient to changes in habitat and has benefited from management. No range-wide threats persist. Since it was listed as endangered in 1985, its population has increased from an estimated 1,970 birds to 13,855 in 2012. Furthermore, the species is now known to inhabit a larger range than originally thought.

Mississippi sandhill crane

MISSISSIPPI SANDHILL CRANE (Grus canadensis pulla)

Mississippi sandhill crane, Grus canadensis pulla
Mississippi sandhill crane population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 215%

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1973

Recovery plan: 1991

Critical habitat: 1975

SUMMARY
The Mississippi sandhill crane is threatened by habitat loss, predation, isolation, harassment, contaminants and hurricanes. Less than 2 percent of the species' wet pine savanna habitat remains. The release of captive-bred cranes began in 1981, and the wild population increased from 40 birds in 1975 to a peak of 135 in 1993. The population declined and remained stable at about 110 birds between 2010 and 2013, then increased to 126 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.

Piping plover, northern Great Plains DPS

PIPING PLOVER, NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS DPS (Charadrius melodus)

Northern Great Plains piping plover
Northern Great Plains piping plover,Charadrius melodus, population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 180%

ESA status: Threatened

List year: 1985

Recovery plan: 2016

Critical habitat: 2002

SUMMARY
The Northern Great Plains piping plover was listed as endangered in 1985 due to threats from habitat loss, predation and disturbance. The plover's numbers in the Northern Great Plains region increased from about 525 breeding pairs in 1986 (the year after it was listed) to 1,468 breeding pairs in 2008.

Red-cockaded woodpecker

RED-COCKADED WOODPECKER (Picoides borealis)

Red-cockaded woodpecker
red-cockaded woodpecker, Picoides borealis, population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 110%

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1970

Recovery plan: 2003

SUMMARY
The red-cockaded woodpecker population declined precipitously due to the significant rangewide loss of mature, longleaf pine forest, largely due to logging and alteration of the local fire regime. Its populations have stabilized, and many have increased, since the late 1990s. In 1970 there were 3,000 active clusters in the designated recovery populations. Numbers had increased to 6,303 by 2014.

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.

Wood stork, U.S. DPS

WOOD STORK, U.S. DPS (Mycteria americana)

Wood stork, U.S. DPS
population graph for wood stork, U.S. DPS

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 61%

ESA status: Threatened

List year: 1984

Downlisted: Final 2014

Recovery plan: 1999

SUMMARY
The U.S. distinct population segment of the wood stork declined due to loss of wetland breeding habitat caused by the creation and management of levees, canals and floodgates. The number of wood stork nests was estimated at 6,245 in 1984 when the species was listed as endangered. In 2014 the species was reclassified as threatened. Approximately 10,058 nests existed in 2015.

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.

Ivory-billed woodpecker

IVORY-BILLED WOODPECKER (Campephilus principalis)

Ivory-billed woodpecker

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1967

Recovery plan: 2010

SUMMARY
The ivory-billed woodpecker was driven extinct by logging, and to much lesser extent, turn-of-the-century collection for scientific and other purposes. The U.S. subspecies was last seen in Louisiana in 1944, despite intensive survey efforts that have taken place since. Sightings continue to be reported in both countries, but none have been confirmed.

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.