Battle continues over golden-cheeked warbler
The Texas General Land Office is preparing to sue the federal government to have an endangered songbird that nests in Bexar County taken off the endangered list.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation filed a notice March 1 on behalf the GLO that states the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not consider the best available data when it said last summer that the golden-cheeked warbler is still endangered.
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“The effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act should be measured in the successful delisting of species, not by the number of species on it,” said Land Commissioner George P. Bush in a prepared statement. “When a new species is listed, there should be a realistic and holistic plan for achieving the goal of increasing the population so that it can be safely delisted.”
The group cites a 2015 study by the Texas A&M University’s Institute of Renewable Natural Resources that estimates the bird’s population is 19 times higher than biologist thought 26 years ago.
The golden-cheeked warbler is a songbird that spends its winters in Mexico and Central America and nests only in Central Texas. Federal authorities first put it on the list in 1990.
Its habitat includes Bexar County, where parts of Government Canyon State Natural Area and other public lands serve as summer sanctuaries for breeding warblers. It builds nests in mature woodlands of mixed oak and Ashe juniper, or mountain cedar.
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