Petition filed to protect the yellow-billed loon under the ESA
March 30, 2004
CONTACT: Corrie Bosman, Center for Biological Diversity,
Anchorage, AK- A coalition of US and Russian-based conservation groups today petitioned the US Fish and Wildlife Service to list the yellow-billed loon (Gavia adamsii) under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). With an estimated global population of only 16,650, the yellow-billed loon has the lowest worldwide population of all loon species, and is one of the rarest waterbirds to breed regularly in North America.
The yellow-billed loon breeds only in Canada, the United States and Eurasia. In the United States, its primary breeding grounds are the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A). An estimated 18% of the world’s population of yellow-billed loons is speculated to live within the Reserve. “Population numbers of the yellow-billed loon are alarmingly low, and the Bush Administration’s actions are threatening their critical breeding habitat in Alaska,” stated Corrie Bosman, Alaska Program Director for the Center for Biological Diversity.
Threats to the yellow-billed loon include:
small population size and low productivity, oil and gas development,
predation, marine pollution, incidental by-catch from fishing (particularly
in Russia), and the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms. “Because
of its small global population and the numerous threats facing this
species, we are hopeful that the USFWS will recognize the immediate
need to protect this species under the ESA,” explained Bosman.
The Center for Biological Diversity filed the petition on behalf of the US-based Natural Resource Defense Council, Pacific Environment, and Trustees for Alaska, as well as 7 Russian partners including the Kamchatka League of Independent Experts, Taiga Ranger, Wild Nature of Sakhalin, and the Kamchatka Branch of the Pacific Institute of Geography.
Additional information on the yellow-billed loon is available:
To view the ESA petition please click here.
To read the report: Status and Significance of Yellow-Billed Loon
Populations in Alaska, please visit: www.trustees.org (publications)