As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday 9 December 2019

Removal from endangered list proposed after bird's rebound in Arkansas

by Emily Walkenhorst | December 2, 2019 at 6:48 a.m.

A least tern checks her eggs in May 2010 on a beach in Gulfport, Miss. On Wednesday the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed taking the least tern off the endangered species list.

A bird that dwells in Arkansas, the Missouri River and the lower Mississippi River no longer needs to be considered endangered, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal.

Research shows the population of least tern has rebounded from a loss of habitat related to river damming.

Colonies numbered near 500 in 2005, up tenfold from 20 years before. The population is estimated to be 18,000 now.

In Arkansas, researchers at Arkansas Tech University have been surveying the bird's population since about 2001 and recommending to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ways to help the bird. The Corps has paid the university for the surveying and research most years since then.

The least tern has a long life span, up to 20 years, said Thomas Nupp, professor of wildlife science and director of Arkansas Tech's fisheries and wildlife science program.

"That means they don't need to be successful in reproduction every year but need to be consistent over the years," Nupp said. "That was a very interesting and unique thing about their biology compared to other birds."

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