(CN) – A rare hummingbird under threat of extinction is being listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced.
The Honduran Emerald hummingbird, the only bird species native to Honduras, has been hard-pressed to cope with the deforestation as a result of farming and cattle operations in its habitat.
According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, about 90 percent of the hummingbird’s habitat has already been lost, and today, only between 5,000 and 10,000 breeding pairs remain.
With its listing as an endangered species, certain activities involving the Honduran Emerald hummingbird will be sharply curtailed without a permit, including the bird’s importation into the United States.
The agency says that permits will only be issued for scientific purposes that benefit the tiny, four-inch long bird in the wild, including efforts to restore its habitat and increase its chances of successful breeding.
The rule goes into effect in 30 days.
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