Environmental Protection

Shorebird Added to Endangered Species List

The rufa red knot, a shorebird the size of a robin, has been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made the announcement on Friday, September 27.

Due to a declining food supply and lack of habitat choices, the rufa red knot shorebird has been listed as a threatened species after service biologists completed an extensive scientific review. The knot lives in 25 countries and 40 states in the U.S., but climate changed has already been affecting the bird’s food supply in each region.

The knot is one of the longest-distance migrants in the animal kingdom and has a wingspan of 20 inches, giving some birds the ability to fly more than 9,300 miles from south to north each spring and autumn.

“The rufa red knot is an extraordinary bird that each year migrates thousands of miles from the Arctic to the tip of South America and back, but – like many shorebirds – it is vulnerable to climate and other environmental changes,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “In some areas, knot populations have declined by about 75 percent since the 1980s, with the steepest declines happening after 2000. We look forward to hearing from the public with any new scientific information as we consider the proposal.”

The proposed rule is available for public comment through November 29, 2013.

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