Isle birds get additional protection
Twenty-four bird species that exist only in Hawaiçi have been added to the list of birds protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in the first revision of the list since 1985, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials announced.
Being on the list means that people would need permits for any activities involving taking any of the birds, such as hunting them, said Barbara Maxfield, a spokeswoman for the Fish and Wildlife Service in Honolulu.
But birds in Hawaiçi that are on the list are unlikely to be hunted, Maxfield said.
“It just highlights the importance of our native species,” she said. “It’s more of a recognition of their importance as native species.”
Species appearing on the list are protected from killing, capturing or attempts to kill or capture adults, eggs or nests, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Director Rowan Gould said Monday.
Many of the Hawaiian species and five Mariana Island species are already protected under the Endangered Species Act.
Joining the Hawaiçi birds on the list are 28 species from American Sämoa, the Mariana Islands, and Baker and Howland Islands.
In all, 186 new species were added to the list and 11 were removed, bringing the total number of species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to 1,007.
The revisions also remove species no longer known to occur within the United States and change some names to conform to accepted usages.
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act implements conventions between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Japan and Russia, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Unlike the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act requires
no demonstrated biological need for protection, and species are listed whenever they are part of a family or species contained within one of the conventions, the service said.
Although many of the newly listed species are found only on one island or one archipelago and do not truly “migrate,” they qualify for protection because their families are covered by the Canadian and/or Mexican conventions.