The Interior Least Tern Has Been Excluded from Endangered Species List After Facing Extinction

The interior least tern which survived several attacks from hat making, damn building, and more, would now be…
Interior least tern

The interior least tern which survived several attacks from hat making, damn building, and more, would now be excluded from the Endangered Species List after returning to about 480 breeding colonies. On the 12th of January, the Fish and Wildlife Service announced this good news.

Dozens of states, federal agencies, tribes, businesses and conservation groups have worked tirelessly over the course of three decades to successfully recover these birds.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director

The interior least tern which weighs 2 pounds is the smallest member of the tern family. Hunters always hunted this midwestern bird in the 19th century for its plumage.  Its feathers were often demanded in the hat making industry, these feathers were used to crown women’s hats. The hat making industy  reduced the numbers of all manner of birds.

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In order to control the rivers of the Midwest, damn and levee construction wiped out several nesting habitat in Mississippi and Missouri. This also reduced the population of these birds.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers played a significant role in the recovery of the Interior least tern. These engineers changed river management strategies that destroyed the nesting sites of the bird.  They utilized dredged river material to develop habitat on the banks.

For over 30 years, we have partnered with the Service to monitor, conserve and recover this endangered species along the Lower Mississippi River. That partnership demonstrates that, through collaboration, we can protect and recover an endangered species while continuing to provide critical navigation and flood control benefits to the nation.

Commander of the Mississippi Valley Division of the Corps.

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