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Group Wants Seabird Protected

Western gull-billed tern breeds in San Diego

Audio

Aired 6/3/09

An environmental group says a rare bird that breeds in San Diego and at the Salton Sea should be listed as endangered. The group says the western gull-billed tern's breeding sites face several threats.

An environmental group says a rare bird that breeds in San Diego and at the Salton Sea should be listed as endangered. The group says the western gull-billed tern's breeding sites face several threats.

The Center for Biological Diversity filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the western gull-billed tern as an endangered species.

Tierra Curry is a biologist with the Center.

She says the gull-billed tern's breeding site at the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge is threatened by a Fish and Wildlife Service plan.

Curry says the Service wants to protect two birds that are listed as endangered -- the western snowy plover and the California least tern - by destroying the eggs of the gull-billed tern.

"Because the western gull-billed tern isn't officially protected under the endangered species act, in their efforts to protect these other two birds they're trying to reduce the population of the gull-billed tern because it preys on the chicks of the other endangered species," Curry says.

She says other threats to the gull-billed tern include falling water levels and pollution at the Salton Sea and habitat loss.

Comments

Avatar for user 'bugguy'

bugguy | June 8, 2009 at 1:04 p.m. ― 5 years, 4 months ago

I don't understand why an invasive species like the gull bill would garner protection at the expense of native species like the snowy plover and the least tern. The bull bills are not on the endangered species list for a reason. THEY ARE INVASIVE. Poor biological science.

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