Western Yellow-Billed Cuckoo Listed As Threatened Species
A migratory bird found in the western United States has been given federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The yellow-billed cuckoo population in 12 western states including Colorado has been listed as a threatened species.
Steve Segin with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the designation was announced Thursday.
"One of the major threats to the yellow-billed cuckoo has been the loss of riverside habitat," Segin says. "It lives in these riparian areas and streams and rivers."
Fish and Wildlife says agriculture, dam construction, river flow management, overgrazing, and exotic plants have contributed to the decline in the bird's habitat.
Federal officials say the next step to protect the species will include the designation of critical habitat and the creation of a recovery plan.
The American Bird Conservancy estimates there are 350 to 495 pairs of yellow-billed cuckoos in the U.S. The bird is also found in Mexico.