Save the Honduran Emerald Hummingbird from Extinction

With less than 2,000 breeding pairs left, the Honduran Emerald Hummingbird is considered the most endangered bird in Central America and one of the most endangered hummingbirds in the world. Time is running out! Please help save this magnificent and rare bird from extinction by supporting its classification as an endangered species.

The Honduran Emerald, (Amazilia luciae) is found solely in the rare dry-thorn forest of Honduras. The Emerald's unique and fragmented habitat encompasses a very small region in the country that is rapidly being destroyed by expanding agriculture and cattle grazing.

This petition brings together EcoLogic Development Fund, The Hummingbird Society and The Hummingbird Conservancy and others who collectively seek to gather enough signatures to begin the process of placing the bird on the Endangered Species List. Legal recognition of its threatened status will assist efforts to build the support needed to urge the Honduran government to develop conservation measures that ensure its habitat remains viable. It will also require U.S. federal agencies to guarantee that any project carried out or funded by the United States government does not jeopardize the continued existence of this hummingbird species.

Your signature will add strength to efforts that aim to establish the species' habitat as legally protected, giving hope for the survival of this brilliantly colored hummingbird.
Dear Secretary Kempthorne,

I write to respectfully request that you list the Honduran Emerald Hummingbird (Amazilia luciae) as a threatened or endangered species under the Federal Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. §1531 et seq. This action will provide the Honduran Emerald broader protection and help build awareness of the bird's precariously low populations by strengthening conservation efforts to protect the dry-thorn forest ecosystem in which the Emerald lives.

The Honduran Emerald is found only in three small fragmented regions in Western Honduras, the Aguán and Agalta Valleys. Estimates show that only between 500 and 2,000 breeding pairs remain. Their habitat of tropical dry-thorn forest is one of the most endangered ecosystems in Honduras and continues to disappear at alarming rates.

As USAID's Biodiversity Assessment Report for Honduras concludes, "The dry forest is a unique forest that represents the entire habitat area for a unique, endemic species, the Emerald hummingbird... and it is being burned at such a rapid rate that the dry forest ecosystem indentified in the 2002 Map of Vegetation Ecosystem of Honduras no longer exists."

This brilliant bird is being driven to extinction as its habitat is consumed by unsustainable agricultural practices and expanding cattle pastures. Additionally, a proposed road splitting the Emerald's fragile habitat in two will undoubtedly further decimate the struggling population, hastening its extinction.

Key communities of the Aguán and Agalta valleys are ready to assume a leadership role in preventing this extinction but they need more support. Proposed conservation measures include creating a network of protected areas in partnership with strategic villages to ensure that land adjacent to the Emerald's habitat is sustainably managed. Additionally, a regional and national education campaign will begin to promote the Emerald as a symbol of local pride and national conservation efforts.

Please support the efforts these communities are undertaking on all our behalf so that the threat to this species can gain greater recognition amongst public and private entities in order to maximize conservation efforts and secure the bird's protection. Again, please place the Emerald Hummingbird on the Endangered Species List and grant it the opportunity to survive.

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