The Trump administration announced Tuesday that a songbird once threatened to the point of near-extinction has rebounded to the point where federal protections are no longer necessary.
The Kirtland’s warbler, officially added to the Endangered Species List in 1967, will be removed from the list of protected species on Nov. 8. Interior Department officials made the announcement at a news conference in Michigan alongside local environmental officials, the Associated Press reported.
“We’ve transitioned from bringing this species out of the emergency room to providing it with long-term stability,” Dan Kennedy, endangered species coordinator for Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources told the AP. “The job now is to ensure that this species continues to have a healthy population.”
At the species’ most-threatened point, just 167 pairs of Kirtland’s warbler were counted in the wild. That number has since surged to as many as 2,300 estimated pairs, according to officials.
Habitat destruction remains a top issue for the birds, which roost in rural northern Michigan during the spring and summer before heading for the Bahamas when the weather changes.
An official with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) told the AP that recent destruction caused by a hurricane in the Bahamas did not appear to severely impact the warbler.
“Hurricanes have occurred before in the Bahamas and we’ve never detected any kind of population impacts to the species,” Scott Hicks told the AP.