Yellow-billed Cuckoos can only be found in a fraction of their former range in the American West, a decline linked to the loss of over 90 percent of their breeding habitat—the cottonwood and willow forests that once lined the banks of western rivers.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has proposed protecting the western Yellow-billed Cuckoo under the Endangered Species Act, and is accepting public comments through December 2. Send your public comments in support of protecting these imperiled birds today.
I am writing to support the listing of the Western population of Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus occidentalis) as "Threatened" under the Endangered Species Act. As the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service analysis shows, this species has suffered a dramatic decline in the West as a result of the loss of its breeding habitat.
Human interventions and impacts, including dams, water diversions, ground-water pumping, and other development are jeopardizing the continued existence of this species in the Western United States. In the arid West, where these birds were once common, documented breeding habitat loss is over ninety percent in comparison with a half-century ago.
Extended drought and predicted climate change further jeopardize this species and add to the need for it to be listed as Threatened.
The remaining strongholds for western Yellow-billed Cuckoo are the iconic wild rivers: the Colorado, Dolores, San Pedro, Gila, Sacramento, Rio Grande, Verde, and Kern Rivers. Listing will help ensure that these rivers will be protected to conserve and restore this species and the habitats upon which it depends.
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