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(Photo By Jim Denny - Courtesy Of American Bird Conservancy)

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Monday, October 6, 2008

PROTECTING VANISHING BIRDS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed protecting two rapidly vanishing Hawaiian bird species, along with 46 other plants and animals that share the same habitat, under a new ecosystem-based approach to the Endangered Species Act. The population of Akikikis, right, has dropped to fewer than 1,400 birds, from about 7,000 in 1970, and the number of Akekees, far right, has fallen to about 3,500, from about 8,000 in 2000. The two species have been decimated by habitat loss, invasive plants, rooting by feral pigs and other mammals, diseases spread by introduced mosquitoes, and hurricanes. A final decision on the listing is expected in about a year.


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