Fish and Wildlife Service proposed today to remove Endangered Species Act protection from the interior least tern, a small bird that nests along major rivers in the Midwest and southern United States.

Subspecies is listed only when inland (more than 50 miles from a coastline); nests along sand and gravel bars within braided streams, rivers; also know to nest on man-made structures (inland beaches, wastewater treatment plants, gravel As recently as 1985, the breeding population for all Least Tern nesting sites in the entire United States had dropped as low as 3,000 pairs.

October 23, 2019 October 29, 2019 admin. When the interior least tern was listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1985, there were fewer than 2,000 birds and only a few dozen nesting sites scattered across a once-expansive range that covered America’s Great Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley. The U.S. FWS's Threatened & Endangered Species System track information about listed species in the United States As previously noted, the Interior least tern uses a variety of anthropogenic habitats such as navigation systems, reservoirs, sand mines, and so forth, allowing the Interior least tern to not only survive, but also to thrive in some drainages, and even expand its range into areas without historical records. Multipurpose dams, irrigation structures, and engineered navigation systems have been present on … A 1990 recovery plan set an overall population goal of 7,000 birds, which has been exceeded since 1994.

interior least tern Sternula antillarum athalassos Sand beaches, flats, bays, inlets, lagoons, islands. The least tern (Sternula antillarum) is a species of tern that breeds in North America and locally in northern South America.It is closely related to, and was formerly often considered conspecific with, the little tern of the Old World.Other close relatives include the yellow-billed tern and Peruvian tern, both from South America..

The birds prefer open habitat, and tend to avoid thick vegetation and narrow beaches. Nesting habitat of the Interior Least Tern includes bare or sparsely vegetated sand, shell, and gravel beaches, sandbars, islands, and salt flats associated with rivers and reservoirs. Least Terns (Sterna antillarum) are the smallest member of the terns found in North America with a length of 21-23 cm and a wingspan of 48-53 cm. The Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) and Least Tern (Sterna antillarum), two species that typically nest on these sandbars, are especially affected by these habitat changes. Interior Least Terns (Sternula antillarum ) (ILT ) are colonial, fish‐eating birds that breed within active channels of large sand bed rivers of the Great Plains and in the Lower Mississippi Valley.Multipurpose dams, irrigation structures, and engineered navigation systems have been present on …