Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 13, 2018. 


Californian’s now facing a pair of wildfires; Also on the Tuesday rundown: Higher education in New Jersey: a racial split; plus food resources still available despite the “public charge” proposal.

Daily Newscasts

Feds Move to Protect Bird Habitat in New Mexico, West

PHOTO: More than 500,000 acres of public land in New Mexico and other western states could receive federal protection as prime habitat for the yellow-billed cuckoo, a bird being considered for endangered species protection. Photo credit: Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program.
PHOTO: More than 500,000 acres of public land in New Mexico and other western states could receive federal protection as prime habitat for the yellow-billed cuckoo, a bird being considered for endangered species protection. Photo credit: Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program.
August 22, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The federal government is moving to protect hundreds of thousands of acres of land in New Mexico and several other Western states where the yellow-billed cuckoos spend time.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to designate more than 500,000 acres as critical habitat for the cuckoo, which is being considered for endangered-species designation. Michael Robinson, a conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity, said the protections would give the birds a better chance of survival.

"The critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act provides protections from federal actions that might degrade the critical habitat or destroy it so that it's not usable by whatever endangered or threatened animal it's been designated for," Robinson said.

The yellow-billed cuckoo is a songbird that lives along rivers and streams in New Mexico, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. The agency is taking public comment on the proposal for 60 days.

Robinson said the bird once thrived along nearly every body of water in the West, but its population has been impacted by dams, livestock grazing, water withdrawals and channeling rivers. He said federal protections also would help safeguard human water sources for drinking and recreation.

"This is going to really give the yellow-billed cuckoos a chance," he said, "and it's also going to benefit people who appreciate a free-flowing Rio Grande and Gila River, and other precious rivers here in New Mexico."

Robinson said the critical-habitat designation primarily would affect the Gila and Rio Grande rivers in New Mexico.

The FWS report is online at amazonaws.com.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NM