OUTDOORS: USFWS taking vireo comment

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is taking public comment on its proposal to remove the black-capped vireo from the federal endangered species list.
The songbird resides in Texas, and its population has increased in recent years.
“The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department applauds this proposal,” said Carter Smith, TPWD executive director. “This news is a testament to the exemplary stewardship of Texas’ private landowners and research and work of the department.”
When the black-capped vireo was listed in 1987, there were only 350 birds reported.
The species declined due to habitat loss and the brown-headed cowbird, who duped the vireos into raising cowbird chicks at the cost of their own young.
The USFWS reports there are more than 5,200 birds and more than 14,000 estimated across the breeding range – which increased 17 percent from 1987 to 2012.
Goats also were a significant threat to the vireo’s habitat; but goat density in the vireo’s breeding range has declined in the most recent three decades.
Vireos are also flourishing in the Mexican state of Coahuila, and other additional locations south of the border.
There also are cowbird control programs in place that have helped the vireo thrive once again. Read more in The Bowie News.

This bird, known as a black-capped vireo, has been enjoyed a resurgence in recent years and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service may take it off the endangered species list. (Courtesy photo from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.)