Guardians and Friends of Animals submitted joint comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today opposing the removal of Endangered Species Act protections for the Western population of the yellow-billed cuckoo.
A coalition of mainly cattle ranching and mining interests asked the Service to remove protections from the cuckoo in 2017. The Service is now considering the request and accepting public comments.
Cuckoo populations have declined drastically since the early 1900s as people have destroyed and modified their habitat. Not coincidentally, the cuckoo is declining just as its riparian riverside habitat—mainly native cottonwood and willow—is disappearing. Since this habitat characterizes healthy, living rivers in the west, Guardians’ Jen Pelz called the cuckoo the “canary in the coal mine” for western rivers, urging protections for both.
Read the press release.