U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Designation for Critical Habitat for the Western Yellow-Billed Cuckoo
Sacramento – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to designate 546,335 acres of critical habitat for
the western distinct population segment (DPS) of the yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) in 80 separate
units in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. The bird is a
neotropical migrant that winters in South America and nests along rivers and streams in western North America.
“The designation of critical habitat is an important step in recovering the western yellow-billed cuckoo,” said
Jennifer Norris, Field Supervisor for the Service’s Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office. “Critical habitat
identifies areas with essential nesting and fledgling sites where conservation actions are needed to protect and
recover this imperiled songbird.”
In the proposal, the Service is considering excluding approximately 193,347 acres from the critical habitat
designation because of existing conservation plans for those areas that protect the western yellow-billed cuckoo
and its habitat. All proposed critical habitat designations on tribal lands are being considered for exclusion.
Critical habitat is a term in the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that identifies geographic areas containing
features essential for the conservation of a threatened or endangered species, and which may require special
management considerations or protection. Designation of critical habitat does not affect land ownership or
establish a refuge or preserve, and has no impact on private landowners taking actions on their land that do not
require federal funding or permits.
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