Center for Biological Diversity

Protecting endangered species and wild places through
science, policy, education, and environmental law.

For Immediate Release: May 17, 2004

For More Information: Peter Galvin (510) 663-0616 x2

Legal Accord To Speed Endangered Species Act Listing For 73 Of The World’s Rarest Bird Species

Washington, D.C. 

A federal judge today approved a legal settlement between the Center for Biological Diversity and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The settlement, which was approved by Judge Rosemary Collyer, forces the FWS to act on Endangered Species Act listing petitions for 73 of the world’s rarest bird species.

The agreement comes in response to a lawsuit filed in Federal District Court in Washington D.C. in December of 2003 by the Tucson, Arizona based Center for Biological Diversity. The suit asserted that the FWS violated the law by failing to take action on petitions submitted in 1980 and 1991 to list the imperiled bird species under the Endangered Species Act. The settlement calls for the FWS to publish in the Federal Register by the end of May 2004, a plan for processing the petitions and bringing the agency into compliance with the Endangered Species Act.

Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the FWS has one year from the date of submission of a petition to either propose to add a species to the list of protected species or determine the species does not warrant listing under the ESA.

Peter Galvin, Pacific Director of the Center for Biological Diversity, stated, “We are pleased that with this settlement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will finally be moving forward to add these rare gems of nature to the list of endangered species.”

Listing of foreign species under the ESA restricts buying and selling of endangered species and increases conservation funding and attention. Projects proposed by U.S. government agencies, the World Bank and other multilateral lending agencies that would impact an endangered species receive a higher level of scrutiny.

Among the bird species that are covered by the settlement is the Okinawa woodpecker, one of the world’s rarest bird species. It lives only in undisturbed, subtropical, evergreen forests of Yanbaru, the northern mountainous region of the island of Okinawa, Japan.

The woodpecker’s habitat is threatened by a U.S. military proposal to construct new roads and helicopter landing pads and associated military infrastructure in prime woodpecker habitat in theYanbaru forest. Other threats to the woodpecker include road construction, forest clear-cutting, agriculture, and other development.

In addition to the woodpecker, 72 other types of imperiled birds – ranging from New Zealand to South America, from Taiwan to the Galapagos – are covered under the settlement, including the Lanyu Scops Owl of Taiwan, the Colombian Grebe, the giant ibis of Laos and Cambodia and the blue throated macaw of Bolivia.


  1. Colombian Grebe ( Colombia)
  2. Cook’s Petrel ( Chatham Islands, New Zealand)
  3. Chatham Petrel ( Chatham Islands, New Zealand)
  4. Magenta Petrel ( Chatham Islands, New Zealand)
  5. Galapagos Petrel ( Galapagos Islands, Ecuador)
  6. Utila Chachalaca ( Utila Island, Honduras)
  7. Cauca Guan ( Colombia)
  8. Cantabrian Capercaillie ( Spain)
  9. Gorgeted Wood-Quail ( Colombia)
  10. Italian Grey Partridge ( Italy)
  11. Takaha ( New Zealand)
  12. Bar-winged Rail ( Fiji)
  13. Chatham Oystercatcher ( Chatham Islands, New Zealand)
  14. Black Stilt ( New Zealand)
  15. Marquesan Imperial Pigeon ( Marquesas Islands)
  16. Orange-fronted Parakeet ( New Zealand)
  17. Uvea Parakeet (Uvea, New Caledonia)
  18. Southeastern Rufous-vented Ground Cuckoo ( Brazil)
  19. Lanyu Scops Owl ( Lanyu Island, Taiwan)
  20. Chilean Woodstar ( Peru, Chile)
  21. Margaretta’s Hermit ( Brazil)
  22. Hairy Hermit ( Panama, Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela, the Guinas and Brazil)
  23. Okinawa Woodpecker ( Okinawa Island, Japan)
  24. Black-hooded Antwren ( Brazil)
  25. Fringe-backed Fire-eye ( Brazil)
  26. St. Lucia Forest Thrush ( St. Lucia, West Indies)
  27. Grey-headed blackbird ( Norfolk Island, South Pacific)
  28. Eiao Polynesian Warbler ( Marquesas Islands)
  29. Moorea reed-warbler (Moorea Island/Society Islands, South Pacific)
  30. Long-legged thicketbird ( Fiji)
  31. Codfish Island Fernbird ( Codfish Island, New Zealand)
  32. Ua Pu Flycatcher ( Marquesas Islands, South Pacific)
  33. Ghizo White-eye ( Solomon Islands)
  34. Cherry-throated Tanager ( Brazil)
  35. Lord Howe Pied Currawong ( Lord Howe Island, New South Wales)
  36. Kalinowski’s tinamou ( Peru)
  37. Junin flightless grebe ( Peru)
  38. Beck’s petrel ( Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands)
  39. Fiji petrel ( Fiji)
  40. Heinroth’s Shearwater ( Bismarck Archipelago, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands)
  41. Greater Adjutant ( South Asia)
  42. Giant Ibis ( Laos, Cambodia)
  43. Andean Flamingo ( Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina)
  44. Brazilian Merganser ( Brazil)
  45. Southern Helmeted Curassow ( Brazil)
  46. Blue-billed Curassow ( Colombia)
  47. Bogota Rail ( Colombia)
  48. Junin Rail ( Peru)
  49. Jerdon’s Courser ( India)
  50. Slender-billed Curlew ( Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, southern Europe, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Africa, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia).
  51. Salmon-crested Cockatoo (South Moluccas, Indonesia)
  52. Blue-throated Macaw ( Bolivia)
  53. Black-breasted Puffleg ( Ecuador)
  54. Esmeraldas Woodstar ( Ecuador)
  55. Yellow-browed Toucanet ( Peru)
  56. Helmeted Woodpecker ( Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina)
  57. Royal Cinclodes ( Peru, Bolivia)
  58. White-browed Tit-Spinetail ( Peru)
  59. Brown-banded Antpitta ( Colombia)
  60. Stresemann’s Bristlefront ( Brazil)
  61. Brasilia Tapaculo ( Brazil)
  62. Grey-winged Cotinga ( Brazil)
  63. Kaempfer’s Tody-Tyrant ( Brazil)
  64. Ash-breasted Tit-Tyrant ( Brazil)
  65. Bananal Tyrannulet ( Brazil)
  66. Peruvian Plantcutter ( Peru)
  67. Gurney’s Pitta (Myanmar/Burma, Thailand)
  68. Nicefro’s Wren ( Colombia)
  69. Socorro’s Mockingbird ( Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico)
  70. Caerulean Paradise-flycatcher ( Sangihe Island, Sulawesi, Indonesia)
  71. Tumaco Seedeater ( Colombia)
  72. Medium Tree-finch ( Floreana Island, Galapagos Islands)
  73. Black-backed Tanager ( Brazil)


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