National Press Club

NEW & NOTEWORTHY Posted by Ryan Howell - 03/26/2009 | Email the editor A Third of US Bird Species Endangered, Interior Secretary Salazar Says Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Photo: Sam Hurd Click here to view photo gallery. Nearly a third of the nation'

March 26, 2009

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar

Photo/Image: Sam Hurd

Nearly a third of the nation's 800 bird species are endangered, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Thursday during a press conference at the National Press Club.

Calling bird populations an indication of environmental health, Salazar called for a systemic conservation plan to restore the bird populations. Several bird populations, including many species of waterfowl such as pelicans, herons, egrets and ducks, have reversed previous declines after conservation programs restored habitats.

"Conservation can really work," he said.

Salazar appeared at the Club with representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Audubon Society, the Nature Conservancy and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to release a first-ever comprehensive report on bird populations in the United States. Among the birds with declining populations are New England shorebirds, warblers in Michigan and song birds in Hawaii, he said.

The U.S. State of the Birds combines data from three long-running bird censuses conducted by thousands of volunteers, scientists and biologists. The report found significant problems in Hawaii and noted significant declines of northern bobwhite and marbled murrelet.

The report is available at www.stateofthebirds.org