The United States Fish and Wildlife Service will be reviewing the endangered status of the Wood Stork Mycteria americana with the possibility that the status of the bird will be downgraded to threatened. Why the review?
The Pacific Legal Foundation and Biological Research Associates submitted the petition to reclassify the stork on behalf of their client, the Florida Home Builders Association. The groups’ supporting information included the Service’s 2007 Wood Stork Five-Year Review, which recommended reclassification to threatened status.
Anyone think that as soon as the reclassification happens, if it happens, that a whole big bunch of Wood Stork habitat will be remade into tract housing?
It’s disconcerting to see who’s pushing this, but they won’t be picking up their nail guns anytime soon. Threatened species have the same federal protections as endangered species.
Wouldn’t it be great if the Florida Home Builders Association also cared what species should become listed (especially in those areas of prime real estate).
@Hugh: Not exactly. The differences are explained here (link is a PDF).
@zoologirl: Yes, but I’m not holding my breath! 🙂
FWIW, I was in Florida (Ft. Lauderdale vicinity) a few months ago and those things were everywhere. I am sure proximity to the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is a big part of that. But they were in drainage ditches & strip mall lawns too. I am rather surprised to hear they are currently considered endangered.