Once nearly extinct, songbird coming off endangered list

Source: Joel Trick/USFWS

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - 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 said Tuesday that 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.