Golden-cheeked Warbler Status

Recently three foundations petitioned the US Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the Golden-Cheeked Warbler from the Endangered Species list.  Since Indian Creek is prime habitat for these birds, this could affect us, so here are some resources to help you learn about the issue.

Marshall Kuykendahl, who is for the de-listing, gave his opinion here in the Austin-American Statesman.  Texas Wildlife Association also took takes this position, running an article by one of the petitioners, Robert Henneke, in their October 2015 magazine (although they have nothing about this issue on their website).

Those on the other side of the issue, in favor of keeping the warbler on the endangered list, also got a forum in the Austin-American Statesman.  Their reasons were given by Joan Marshall, Executive Director of the Travis County Audubon Society.

This editorial from the Houston Chronicle and this one from the Austin-American Statesman both advocate keeping the warbler on the endangered list, at least for now.  Both of these short editorials provide some background information.

For a look that goes beyond the simple “List it/De-list it” quandary, you might be interested in this article published by the Property and Environment Research Center.   It is long, but it brings in many more facets of this issue.  Author Richard Stroup argues that the Endangered Species Act has actually hurt targeted species, because many people have destroyed good habitat on their property, rather than face regulations.  But rather than just assigning blame, it offers many solutions to the property rights/ regulation impasse:

A number of groups have been trying to come up with modifications of the Endangered Species Act that would provide incentives for landowner cooperation. One suggestion is to provide property tax credits for landowners who commit themselves to long-range habitat protection.(16) Another is to pay landowners “bounties” or “rewards” for endangered species found on their land.(17) Still another is to “rent” the land that is to be used for endangered species. – See more at:
Stroup concludes that the Endangered Species Act must be reformed to make “endangered species the friend, not the enemy, of landowners.”  It seems to me that our situation at Indian Creek is a little different from most, because we are here for wildlife management and conservation.
Whatever your opinion on the status of the Golden-cheeked Warbler, I encourage you to look at some of these articles to learn more.
Here is the link to check on the status of the petition to de-list.  You can put “warbler” in the search box to filter the results.