Group Settles Over Protection for Rare Bird

Sep 24, 2013

Bicknell's Thrush, Catharus bicknelli, by T. B. Ryder
Credit T.B. Ryder/USFWS

An environmental group says it has reached a settlement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over endangered species status for a rare migratory songbird which nests on mountaintops in northern New England, the Adirondacks and eastern Canada.

The Center for Biological Diversity says climate change threatens to destroy the habitat of the Bicknell's thrush. The group had sued the federal agency when it did not meet a deadline this year to decide on whether the sparrow-sized bird should be protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Monday's settlement gives the agency four years to decide on protection status for the bird.

Mollie Matteson, the center's Northeast representative based in Richmond, Vt., called the agreement a "ray of hope." She says time is growing short for the bird and its habitat.