WASHINGTON (CN) – Twenty eight years after first being petitioned by Dr. Warren King, then Chairman of the U.S. Section of the International Council for Bird Preservation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will list the Galapagos petrel and the Heinroth’s shearwater (a sea bird that resembles a small albatross) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Dr. King’s 1980 petition recommended 60 foreign birds for inclusion on the list of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife. In 1981 the agency determined that all of the birds on the list warranted listing but that it was precluded by higher-priority listing actions. The agency has since determined that the Cook’s petrel, a native of New Zealand is not likely to become extinct.
In a previous action, the agency listed three of the six foreign sea birds on Dr. King’s list: the Chatham petrel, the Fiji petrel and the magenta petrel.
Both the Galapagos petrel and the Heinroth’s shearwater are threatened by the introduction of invasive plants that have caused drastic habitat changes across their range and predation and habitat destruction by domestic animals.