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Agency rejects glacier seabird for endangered list

Posted: October 4, 2013 - 8:12am

ANCHORAGE — The federal government has rejected endangered species status for a seabird that forages in glacier runoff flowing into ocean waters.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 161-page finding concludes that the Kittlitz’s murrelet can adapt to changing environmental conditions and that the species has lived in areas without glaciers.

The listing petition was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity.

Spokeswoman Shaye Wolf says the population of Kittlitz’s murrelets has declined 80 to 90 percent in core areas such as Alaska’s Glacier Bay and Prince William Sound.

The Fish and Wildlife Service acknowledges a 30 percent annual decrease in the population occurred in the years between 1989 and 2000 but says the population has stabilized and likely will undergo a slower decline of less than 2 percent annually.

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