Center for Biological Diversity

Endangered Bird Trends

Western Forest        

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.

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.

California brown pelican

CALIFORNIA BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus)

California brown pelican
California brown pelican population graph

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 1464%

ESA status: Delisted

List year: 1970

Delisted: Final 2009

Recovery plan: 1983

SUMMARY
The California brown pelican declined due to habitat loss, reproductive failure from DDT-related eggshell thinning, and toxic exposure to the pesticide endrin. The banning of DDT and protection of nesting areas are responsible for the species' recovery. The bird was listed as endangered in 1970 with 748 nests, but continued declining to a low of 466 in 1978. Since then, the species has increased, though inconsistently, having reached 11,695 nesting pairs when it was delisted in 2009.

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.

Marbled murrelet, Northwest DPS

MARBLED MURRELET, NORTHWEST DPS (Brachyramphus marmoratus marmoratus)

Marbled murrelet, Northwest DPS
Marbled murrelet, Northwest DPS, Brachyramphus marmoratus marmoratus, population graph

Status since listing: Stable

Growth since listing: -10%

ESA status: Threatened

List year: 1992

Recovery plan: 1997

Critical habitat: 1996

SUMMARY
The marbled murrelet population in Washington, Oregon and California declined due to logging of its preferred old-growth forest habitat. It likely declined in the 1990s, but hard data is lacking. The species also declined between 2001 (22,424 birds) and 2010 (17,087); it then increased to 20,290 by 2013. Between 2001 and 2013  the trend was slightly negative but effectively stable overall.

Mexican spotted owl

MEXICAN SPOTTED OWL (Strix occidentalis lucida)

Mexican spotted owl
Mexican spotted owl, Strix occidentalis lucida, population graph

Status since listing: Unknown

Growth since listing: Unknown

ESA status: Threatened

List year: 1993

Recovery plan: 2012

Critical habitat: 1995

SUMMARY
The Mexican spotted owl is threatened by habitat loss and degradation by logging, large-scale stand-replacing wildfire and exurban development. It was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1993. The number of known owl territories increased from 758 in 1993 to 1,301 as of 2008, but much or most of that growth was due to increased survey effort. Overall, the trend-since-listing is unknown.

Northern spotted owl

NORTHERN SPOTTED OWL (Strix occidentalis caurina)

Northern spotted owl
Northern spotted owl population graph

Status since listing: Declined

Growth since listing: -56%

ESA status: Threatened

List year: 1990

Recovery plan: 2011

Critical habitat: 1992

SUMMARY
The northern spotted owl declined due to destruction and fragmentation of nesting, roosting and foraging habitat by wildfire, logging, and other natural disturbances (such as windstorms), as well as competition with encroaching barred owls. Between 1990 and 2013, 11 researched populations of northern spotted owls declined by 3.8% annually. By 2011 the total population at their sites was 37% of what it had been in 1985.

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.

Western snowy plover, Pacific DPS

WESTERN SNOWY PLOVER, PACIFIC DPS (Charadrius nivosus nivosus)

Western snowy plover, Pacific DPS
population graph for Western snowy plover, Pacific DPS

Status since listing: Increased

Growth since listing: 96%

ESA status: Threatened

List year: 1993

Recovery plan: 2007

Critical habitat: 1999

SUMMARY
The snowy plover declined on the Pacific Coast due to habitat loss, disturbance of nest sites, and encroachment of European beach grass. It remains threatened by predation, disturbance and climate change. When listed as endangered in 1993, its U.S. population was estimated at fewer than 1,500 adults. Protection efforts caused the population to increase to 2,938 estimated adults in 2015.

Extinct or Extirpated Prior to ESA Listing:

 

Thick-billed parrot

THICK-BILLED PARROT (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha)

ESA status: Endangered

List year: 1970

Recovery plan: 2013

SUMMARY
The thick-billed parrot was driven to very low population levels in the U.S. by hunting and logging in the 1800s and 1900s. In Mexico, the species is threatened by deforestation, grazing’s effect on forest fire regimes, and the illegal bird trade. Historical accounts of the thick-billed parrot’s abundance do not exist, but natural occurrences of the bird in the United States were last recorded in 1938 and possibly 1964. In 2012, about 2,000 parrots, all in Mexico, were thought to exist.

Listed Under the ESA Less Than 10 Years:


Streaked horned lark

STREAKED HORNED LARK (Eremophila alpestris strigata)

streaked horned lark

ESA status: Threatened

List year: 2013

Critical habitat: 2013

SUMMARY
The streaked horned lark has been threatened primarily by a drastic contraction in its range. Furthermore, remaining habitat is often ephemeral and prone to human disturbance. Data on its population trends is lacking, but significant rangewide decreases occurred in the late 1900s and 2000s. The only available population estimate is of 1,390 in 2011. The subspecies was listed as threatened in 2013.

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.