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Special Status Species

Landbirds | Raptors | Shorebirds | Waterbirds

  • Executive Order 13186 - Responsibilities of Federal Agencies To Protect Migratory Birds
  • USFWS Birds of Conservation Concern
  • ERDC T&E Species Fact Sheet
  • Recovery and Delisting of Federally Listed Species
  • Endangered Species Coordination within the Corps

  • T&E Species Relevant to Corps Projects
      Corps regulations and State and federal laws provide protection for a variety of bird species. For species federally listed as threatened or endangered species, Corps responsibilities might include habitat protection, public access prohibitions and monitoring duties. These requirements are documented in the recovery plans for each species. Corps facilities should periodically check with the local USFWS office to obtain a current list of species.
    • List of Recovery Plans for T&E Species




      California Condor - On March 11, 1967, the California condor was designated as endangered in the United States, except where now listed as an experimental population. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Pacific Region (Region 1) is the lead region for this entity. 2003 was a very encouraging one for condors. At year's end the entire world population was 198, with 76 condors flying free. Twenty two condors were produced in captivity, eight at The Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey, eight at the San Diego Wild Animal Park, and six at the Los Angeles Zoo. There were a total of five nesting attempts, three in California and two in Arizona. Along with all of the good news there were some major disappointments, with two condors being deliberately shot in Arizona. Lead poisoning also became an issue again. Recovery Plan

      Everglades Snail Kite - On March 11, 1967, the Everglade snail kite was designated as endangered in Florida. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region (Region 4) is the lead region for this entity. The snail kite inhabits open freshwater marshes which support an adequate population of apple snails. The kite's curved beak is what it uses to eat the snails. The kite's numbers have been reduced to about 750. A plan to increase the kite's number has been achieved and they have been increasing rapidly. Draining of prime snail habitat kills off adult snails. Improper flooding of areas drowns the pearl-like snail eggs before they hatch. Recovery Plan

      Bald Eagle - The bald eagle was classified in 1978 as endangered in 43 states and threatened in 5 others. It was not listed in Alaska and does not occur in Hawaii. In 1995, the species was down listed to threatened in all of the lower 48 states, and proposed for de-listing in 1999. After nearly disappearing from most of the U.S., the bald eagle is now flourishing and no longer needs the protection of the Endangered Species Act. The nation’s symbol has recovered from an all-time low of 417 nesting pairs in 1963 to an estimated high of 9,789 breeding pairs today, and has been removed from the list of threatened and endangered species.

      Hawaiian Hawk - On March 11, 1967, the Hawaiian (='lo) hawk was designated as Endangered in Hawaii. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Pacific Region (Region 1) is the lead region for this entity.

      Puerto Rican Broad-Winged Hawk - On September 9, 1994, the Puerto Rican broad-winged hawk was designated as endangered in Puerto Rico. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Southeast Region (Region 4) is the lead region for this entity.

      Puerto Rican Sharp-Shinned Hawk - On September 9, 1994, the Puerto Rican sharp-shinned hawk was designated as endangered in Puerto Rico. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Southeast Region (Region 4) is the lead region for this entity.

      Peregrine Falcon - On August 25, 1999, the American peregrine falcon, one of the first species protected under the Endangered Species Act, was officially declared recovered and removed from the endangered species list. A partnership of the Fish and Wildlife Service, states, and other interested groups will continue to monitor peregrine falcon populations to ensure the species' long-term survival. Engineer Update article describing Corps contributions to peregrine falcon recovery efforts - Phil. District bridge shelters falcons

      Aplomado Falcon - On February 25, 1986, the northern aplomado falcon was designated as endangered in its entire range. Within the area covered by this listing, this species is known to occur in Texas, Guatemala, and Mexico. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southwest Region (Region 2) is the lead region for this entity. The northern aplomado falcon once nested within a road swath across the southwestern United States, but disappeared from this portion of its range by the mid-20th century from causes that are still poorly understood.

      Crested Caracara - On July 6, 1987, the Audubon's crested caracara was designated as threatened in Florida. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region (Region 4) is the lead region for this entity.

      Spotted Owl (Northern and Mexican) - Three races of the spotted owl are found in the United States. The northern spotted owl faces some of the greatest danger of deforestation. It ranges along the West Coast from SW British Columbia to San Francisco in the coastal ranges. The California spotted owl is found both along the west slope of the Sierras in California and in the coastal ranges from San Francisco to San Diego. The Mexican spotted owl ranges from S. Utah south through Arizona, New Mexico, and West Texas down into Central Mexico. On June 26, 1990, the northern spotted owl was designated as threatened in California, Oregon, Washington, and Canada (B.C.). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Region (Region 1) is the lead region for this entity. ( On March 16, 1993, the Mexican spotted owl was designated as Threatened in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Mexico. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southwest Region (Region 2) is the lead region for this entity (

      Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl - The ferruginous pygmy-owl is endangered in Arizona and facing loss of habitat in both Texas and Arizona. Although it is endangered in North America (Arizona), it is still quite frequent over much of its Mexican range. The owl is generally sedentary although its range expands after the fledging of the young.


      Wood stork (Endangered) - Wood storks are large wading birds approximately 3 1/2 feet in height with a wing span of over 5 feet. They are distinguished by a dark unfeathered head and neck, a white body, and a black tail and wing tips. Like most other wading birds, wood storks feed on small fish in shallow freshwater wetlands. They use tall cypresses near the water for colonial nest sites. They occasionally visit Alabama's swamps to forage, but no longer are known to nest in the state. Wood storks are the largest wading birds that breed in North America; they nest 60 feet off the ground in cypress trees in wetland areas of Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. Only three other species in the world are similar to wood storks; two live in Southeast Asia and one in Africa. Wood storks almost became extinct before being listed on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Endangered Species List in 1984. In the 1930s, more than 60,000 wood storks resided in the United States. But development, destruction of habitat and other factors reduced their population to about 4,500 breeding pairs by 1980 (adapted from University of Georgia). Currently, there is no habitat conservation plan (HCP) for this species.

      Interior Least tern (Endangered) - The least tern is the smallest American tern, weighing about 1 ounce (28 gm) and measuring about 9 in. (23 cm) in length. It is identified in spring and summer by a white forehead contrasting with a black crown and nape. Its body is slate grey above and white below, with the pointed wings and forked tail characteristic of most terns. The bill and feet are yellow. Wingbeats are uniquely rapid and the black leading edge of the outer wing is conspicuous in flight. Immature least terns have upper parts which are mottled white and dark brown. The call is either a sharp, penetrating "kip-kip-kip" or a shrill "zreep." (source NYDEC) Recovery Plan

      Roseate tern (Endangered) - The roseate tern is about 40 centimeters in length, with light-gray wings and back. Its first three or four primaries are black and so is its cap. The rest of the body is white, with a rosy tinge on the chest and belly during the breeding season. The tail is deeply forked, and the outermost streamers extend beyond the folded wings when perched. During the breeding season the basal three-fourths of the otherwise entirely black bill and legs turn orange-red. Roseate terns in the Caribbean begin egg laying in May, and have downy chicks in June which fledge in July, although breeding colonies shift locations. Roseate terns usually lay one or two eggs, and chicks fledge after 22 to 29 days of age. In the Caribbean, the roseate tern breeds from Florida through the West Indies to islands off Central America and northern South America. Halewyn and Norton (1984) give a total population estimate of about 4,000 pairs. More thorough and exact population surveys are not available, primarily due to the inaccessibility of some of the islands where these terns breed. Roseate terns breed primarily on small offshore islands, rocks, cays, and islets. Rarely do they breed on large islands. They have been reported nesting near vegetation or jagged rock, on open sandy beaches, close to the waterline on narrow ledges of emerging rocks, or among coral rubble. It has been suggested that egging, human disturbance, rat predation, and netting of adults in Guyana, South America, are the main factors affecting the Caribbean roseate terns. The direct effect of these factors on breeding or wintering terns has not been documented. Halewyn and Norton (1984) have suggested that these factors may be causing a decline in the Caribbean population. Management of breeding habitat (manipulating vegetation, providing artificial nest sites, and promoting nesting at former colony sites) may be necessary to increase tern reproductive success, particularly when coupled with predator control programs (scaring, trapping, relocation, or removal of predators). (Source USFWS) - No recovery plan or habitat conservation plan for this species.

      California least tern (Endangered) - Recovery Plan

      Brown pelican

      Yuma clapper rail (Endangered)

      Light-footed clapper rail (Endangered)

      California clapper rail (Endangered) - need species profile - no recovery plan or habitat conservation plans for this species

      Short-tailed albatross (Endangered)

      Whooping crane (Endangered) - species profile

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