Washington, Jan 18 : Six rare international bird species have been listed as endangered under the US Endangered Species Act, after a series of lawsuits demanding protection for these birds.
According to a report in ENN (Environmental News Network), the birds that have been listed as endangered are the black stilt (New Zealand), caerulean paradise-flycatcher (Indonesia), giant ibis (Laos, Cambodia), Gurney's pitta (Burma, Thailand), long-legged thicketbird (Fiji), and Socorro mockingbird (Mexico).
These birds were first determined as warranting protection fourteen years ago. But, according to the report, the US Fish and Wildlife Service illegally delayed responding to the petitions.
This negligence made the Center for Biological Diversity to file a suit in 2004, forcing the agency to issue a long-overdue finding that 51 additional foreign birds warranted protection.
In 2004, the Service claimed listing was "precluded" by higher-priority listing actions for all the birds except for these six species. Despite finding that the six birds warranted listing, the Service refused to issue a proposed listing rule until 2006, after the Center sued again.
In December 2006, the Service published a proposed listing rule for six other of the remaining 45 bird species, imperiled seabirds from New Zealand, Fiji, New Guinea, and the Galapagos Islands.
"The long overdue Endangered Species Act listings can make an important difference in the struggle to save these vanishing bird species," said Jeff Miller with the Center for Biological Diversity.
"Scores more of the world's rarest and most threatened bird species have been waiting for Endangered Species Act listing for over two decades, and it has required two lawsuits so far to get the Fish and Wildlife Service to take action toward listing these birds," he added.
Listing international species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act restricts buying and selling of imperiled wildlife, increases conservation funding and attention, and adds scrutiny to projects proposed by US government and multilateral lending agencies such as the World Bank.