Sergio Chapa Dec. 4, 2019
Environmentalists are raising concerns that building a new liquefied natural gas export terminal along the mouth of the Calcasieu Ship Channel in southwest Louisiana could harm a shy and elusive marsh bird that is expected to be added to the endangered species list.
In a public letter filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Tuesday, the Audubon Society of Louisiana wrote that the proposed Commonwealth LNG export terminal could destroy habitat for the eastern black rail, a rare marsh bird that fits in the palm of the average person's hand.
Described as "shy and elusive" by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the rail is one of 41 species of animals that have been nominated to be added to the agency's endangered species list next year.
Exact population figures remain unclear but with an estimated 1,300 left along the coastal prairies of Texas and less than 1,000 breeding pairs along the Atlantic Coast, Audubon Louisiana has captured and banded more than three dozen of the rare birds on private lands along Highway 82 in southwest Louisiana. The environmental group said the rail prefers habitat heavy with gulf cordgrass, which is visible on the proposed LNG project site.