24 bird species found only in Hawaii added to Migratory Bird Treaty Act
Twenty-four bird species that exist only in Hawaiçi have been added to the list of birds protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in the first revision of the list since 1985, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials announced today.
Being on the list means that humans would need permits for any activities involving taking any of the birds, such as hunting them, said Barbara Maxfield, a spokeswoman for the Fish and Wildlife Service in Honolulu.
But birds in Hawaiçi that are on the list are unlikely to be hunted, Maxfield said.
“It just highlights the importance of our native species,” she said. “It’s more of a recognition of their importance as native species.”
Species appearing on the list are protected from killing, capturing or attempts to kill or capture adults, eggs or nests, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Director Rowan Gould said today.
Many of the Hawaiian species and five Mariana Island species are already protected under the Endangered Species Act.
Joining the Hawaiçi birds on the list are 28 species from American Samoa, the Mariana Islands, or Baker and Howland Islands.
In all, 186 new species were added to the list and 11 were removed, bringing the total number of species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to 1,007.
The revisions also remove species no longer known to occur within the United States and change some names to conform to accepted usages.
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act implements conventions between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Russia, the Fish and Wildlife Service said.
Unlike the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act requires no demonstrated biological need for protection, and species are listed whenever they are part of a family or species contained within one of the conventions, the service said.
Although many of the newly listed species are found only on one island or one archipelago and do not truly “migrate,” they qualify for protection because their families are covered by the Canadian and/or Mexican conventions, the service said.
The final rule can be found at migratorybirds.fws.gov.
The new Pacific Island species that were added are listed below. Those with an (E) designation are also listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Those designated with (PE) are proposed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
Greater ‘Akialoa (E)
O‘ahu ‘Alauahio (E)
Hawai‘i Creeper (E)
Laysan Finch (E)
Nihoa Finch (E)
Nihoa Millerbird (E)
Maui Parrotbill (E)
Pacific Island species added because they belong to families covered by the Canadian and/or Mexican conventions are:
Black Bittern (Guam)
Little Pied Cormorant (Northern Mariana Islands)
Spotless Crake (American Samoa)
Mariana Crow (E) (Guam, Northern Mariana Islands)
Pacific Black Duck (American Samoa)
Crimson-crowned Fruit-Dove (American Samoa)
Many-colored Fruit-Dove (American Samoa)
Mariana Fruit-Dove (Guam, Northern Mariana Islands)
Nordmann’s Greenshank (Guam)
Friendly Ground-Dove (American Samoa)
White-throated Ground-Dove (Guam, Northern Mariana Islands)
Gray Heron (Northern Mariana Islands)
Pacific Imperial-Pigeon (American Samoa)
Collared Kingfisher (American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands)
Micronesian Kingfisher (E) (Guam)
Eurasian Oystercatcher (Guam)
Gould’s Petrel (American Samoa)
Phoenix Petrel (Baker and Howland Islands)
Tahiti Petrel (American Samoa)
Buff-banded Rail (American Samoa)
Guam Rail (E) (Guam)
Nightingale Reed-Warbler (E) (Northern Mariana Islands, formerly Guam)
Matsudaira’s Storm-Petrel (Guam, Northern Mariana Islands)
Polynesian Storm-Petrel (American Samoa)
White-bellied Storm-Petrel (American Samoa)
Purple Swamphen (American Samoa)
Mariana Swiftlet (E) (Guam)