On October 3, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) declined to list (pdf) the Kittlitz’s murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris) under the Endangered Species Act. Responding to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, the Service concluded after a 12-month finding that, based on the best available scientific and commercial information, listing the species is not warranted at this time.
The Kittlitz’s murrelet is an Alaskan seabird that forages in coastal waters near glacier outflows. The petition to list the species stated that glacier loss due to climate change was the principal threat to the species’ population. The Service concluded, however, that the decline in the species could not be attributed to glacier loss, because the murrelet appears to be adapting to changing terrain, and its population has remained stable for the past 13 years.
Although the Service denied the petition to list the species, it will continue to accept information regarding the bird and its habitat.