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Photo credit: Canadianwikilover, Wikimedia Commons

Common raven (Corvus corax) | ESA status: none

Common raven

Curious and intelligent birds, ravens feature in folklore and myth as tricksters. They are often confused with crows, but they are larger and less likely to be found in urban areas.

Common raven facts

Ravens can have a four-foot wingspan and measure over two feet from head to tail. They have a complex variety of calls; researchers have interpreted over 20 distinct patterns of calls used to communicate warnings, threats, and greetings to other ravens. They generally live six to 10 years in the wild.

What are the threats to the common raven?

Ravens in the American West are not in danger of extinction, but they are persecuted by one of the most notorious wildlife-killing agencies in existence: Wildlife Services, a federal program within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Wildlife Services takes a “scorched earth” approach to wildlife-human conflict and has killed thousands of ravens to prevent them from scavenging on eggs of the endangered sage grouse.

What WildEarth Guardians is doing to protect the common raven

We are challenging Wildlife Services’ raven-killing activities in federal court, as they do not address the root cause of increased raven predation on sage-grouse eggs: human disturbance of sagebrush habitat. We succeeded in forcing Wildlife Services to perform a new analysis of their killing plans in Nevada, and have also successfully challenged Wildlife Services’ activities in Idaho.

Wildlife Press: Common raven