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USFWS confirms Streaked Horned Lark’s threatened listing

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This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a final rule, confirming the Streaked Horned Lark subspecies (Eremophila alpestris strigata) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. That announced also amended the 4(d) rule accompanying the bird’s listing, which creates exceptions from the prohibition on incidental take for normal agricultural practices, among other things. 

The species was first listed as threatened in 2018. In 2018, the Center for Biological Diversity sued the agency, challenging that listing. In 2019, the case was decided and the USFWS ordered to reconsider their listing rule. The draft rule was published in April 2021. 

In this week’s final rule, the USFWS notes that, “the primary factors currently influencing the condition of streaked horned lark populations are the ongoing loss and conversion of suitable habitat, land management activities and related effects, and recreation.” The agency concluded that, while “the subspecies does not appear to be currently in danger of extinction,” it could be in the foreseeable future. 

According to the USFWS, recent population estimates put the total population of Streaked Horned Larks throughout its range in the Pacific Northwest at 1,170 to 1,610 individuals.

The new rule goes into effect on May 13, 2022. 

Read USFWS' press release here

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Thanks for this, Laura. I think there's a typo in your first sentence (and in beginning of second paragraph) in that it's a threatened subspecies rather than species. Appreciate the work you do with the OC!

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