Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, December 14, 2016

Contact: Noah Greenwald, (503) 484-7495,

Another Endangered Species Act Success: Black-capped Vireo Recovered,
Proposed for Removal From Endangered List

ARLINGTON, Texas.— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that the black-capped vireo, a songbird that lives in Texas, Oklahoma and Mexico, has recovered and is being proposed for removal from the endangered species list. The vireo was protected under the Endangered Species Act in 1987 because of brown-headed cowbird nest parasitism and habitat loss to urbanization, livestock grazing and succession due to lack of fire. These threats have been reduced in some places and the number of known birds has dramatically increased. 

“The beautiful black-capped vireo is yet another victory for the Endangered Species Act, which has been more than 99 percent successful at saving species from extinction and has put hundreds others on the road to recovery,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “With the strong protections of the Endangered Species Act and concerted effort, endangered species like the vireo can be saved.”

The black-capped vireo has improved in both abundance and numbers of populations. According to a recent report by the Center, four closely monitored populations of the vireo have increased by more than 7,000 percent. Several populations are on public lands, where a combination of prescribed fire, cowbird trapping and habitat protection has secured the bird’s future. 

“We’re thrilled that the Endangered Species Act has secured a future for the black-capped vireo,” said Greenwald. “We can save more species if we fully fund and implement the Endangered Species Act.”

The Center released an analysis Tuesday demonstrating that the current appropriation for recovery of endangered species is roughly 3.5 percent of what is needed to fully recover all currently listed species.    

Black-capped vireo

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

More press releases