The petition to list the Tricolored Blackbird under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) was denied last week.
Again and again, the Trump Administration has actively undermined science-based decision-making. The rejection of the Tricolored Blackbird, which was recently found to be worthy of listing under California ESA, is just one more example.
If the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had conducted the kind of review that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife did, we believe they would have listed this imperiled species.
While the California Endangered Species Act provides some protections, it does not offer the same level of resources for recovering the population that a federal listing does.
In addition, listing this species would ultimately benefit the farmers and others who host nesting colonies on their lands. The USFWS decision makes life harder for both the birds and the people working on the ground to protect them.
In California, we are working on a piece of legislation, SB 1, which will expand state law protections for federally-listed species left vulnerable by changes to the federal ESA.
State Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, author of SB 1, speaks about the bill here. It does not create new regulations, but rather continues the baseline protections that have been in place.