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Marbled Murrelet Will Stay On Endangered Species List

Federal officials announced Wednesday that a small coastal bird, native to Oregon and Washington will remain on the Endangered Species list, over protests from the timber industry. Rob Manning reports.

Marbled murrelets spend most of their time dipping in and out of the Pacific Ocean. But when they’re onshore, federal scientists say they need deep groves of old-growth forest to nest in.

Back in 2004, an analysis found the bird might not need protection.

Such a decision could have loosened logging rules on thousands of acres. But that analysis was later found to have been politically manipulated.

A new review finds the murrelet still needs protection.

Doug Zimmer with U.S. Fish and Wildlife says that more recent analysis led the agency to keep the murrelet on the Endangered Species list.

Doug Zimmer: “We are denying the decision to de-list the marbled murrelet. The murrelet remains listed as ‘threatened’.”

The American Forest Resource Council — a timber industry group — filed the petition to remove the protections. The council’s president says the federal decision ignores that the bird’s biggest problems are in the ocean, rather than on land.

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