Sustaining seabirds

Loggers lament federal decision shielding marbled murrelet

Logging lobbyists were dealt a blow recently when federal officials opted to continue protecting a bird species living in old-growth forests of the West Coast.

The marbled murrelet of California, Oregon and Washington will retain its status as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Biologists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that the small seabird species—listed as threatened since 1992—is composed of a distinct population that is still in jeopardy. The bird’s numbers have plummeted 34 percent between 2001 and 2008, reported The Associated Press.

At odds with the findings is the American Forest Resource Council, a group that asked the federal agency to delist the bird and lift protections for the tri-state bird population. The latter petition continues to play out in court.