SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Federal biologists have turned down Endangered Species Act protection for the ashy storm-petrel, a sea bird that breeds on islands off the California coast.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Monday that the bird is going through natural population fluctuations, but is not in a long-term decline.
The agency says a review of the scientific information shows that the bird's range remains the same, and predation by burrowing owls and gulls at a major breeding site on Southeast Farallon Island is not causing a long-term problem.
The review was prompted by a lawsuit from the conservation group Center for Biological Diversity, which challenged a 2009 finding that protection was not warranted.