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Once nearly extinct, songbird coming off endangered list

Submitted by on October 9, 2019 – 12:14 amNo Comment

It’s now official – the Kirtland’s warbler is being removed from the federal endangered species list after a successful battle to save it from extinction.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the yellow-bellied songbird has recovered but will continue to rely on habitat preservation measures for long-term survival.

It nests in the young jack pines of northern Michigan, Wisconsin and Ontario that must be logged and replanted on a regular basis to mimic wildfires that historically regenerated the forests.

Efforts also will continue to keep away brown-headed cowbirds that invade warbler nests.

After falling to 167 pairs in 1987, the population is now about 2,300 pairs. In Michigan, the majority of the birds can be found in Crawford, Oscoda, and Ogemaw counties.