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STATES CHRONICLE – A species of bird known as Black-capped Vireo proved that the Endangered Species Act is real. This little bird was saved from extinction due to the efforts of conservations. Federal wildlife officials had announced that they might remove protection for black-capped vireos because the species managed to recover in number successfully.
This species represents a small songbird categorized as a migratory one. Black-capped Vireos were seen flying over areas in south-central Kansa, central Oklahoma, northern Mexico, central Texas and heading towards the west coast of Mexico where they usually spend their winters. A few decades ago, this species was almost entirely annihilated.
These birds suffered because they have witnessed a loss of their grassland habitat which was used for grazing and development. What is more, another species of birds called brown-headed cowbirds have taken control over their nests, laying eggs there to the disadvantage of black-capped vireo chicks.
In 1987, specialists estimated that there were only 350 such specimens left. Starting with that year, they were federally protected being listed as an endangered species. During all these years, conservations have been taken care of these birds. Their efforts included conservation easements, prescribed fired, but also the management of brown-headed cowbirds.
All this work helped them regain their strength, facing a spectacular and significant rebound. Nowadays, the number of these birds reached approximately 5,200. Scientists also estimate that there may be more than 14,000 black-capped vireos which live and spread on a combination of private and public lands.
Dr. Benjamin N. Tuggle is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) Southwest Regional Director. He argued that the commitment from private landowners, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Fort Still, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Fort Hood represented significant sources of help which managed to bring these birds back from the verge of extinction.
The announcement which attested that black-capped vireos are no longer endangered illustrates how the project of ESA works when it comes to protecting species and helping them successfully recover. Even if the delisting of these birds was triggered by a lawsuit which was filed in 2012 by a team of organizations, researchers decided to keep the preserves in place.
This species is expected to continue to receive protection which is still covering other species with which they share their habitat.
Image source: flickr