The Kirtland’s Warbler, an endangered Michigan songbird, no longer needs the protection of the Endangered Species Act according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service announced the official delisting of the bird Tuesday.
Warblers only nest in young jack pine trees found in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ontario.
In 1974 there were 167 breeding pairs left. Today, that number is estimated at over 2,300.
The bird was among the first animals in the US to be listed at risk of extinction.
Dan Kennedy is with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
“So it’s a great conservation success story that is uniquely Michigan,” he said.
Kennedy said conservation efforts will need to continue.
“They are what is considered a conservation reliant species,” he said. “Which means they need actions from us to keep doing as well as they are now.”
That means continuing to put funding behind planting jack pine trees.
Linnea Rowse is with the Michigan Audubon. She said the bird holds a special place in the heart of Michiganders because of its concentration in the state.
“I think it’s a really great success story because there have been decades of collaboration from multiple partners,” she said. “This is the culmination of those many many years of effort to bring this species back from extinction.”