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Black-capped vireo makes its way off the list of endangered species

Monday, May 14, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Commissioner Annie Schmitt, who sits on the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan Citizens Advisory Committee, told the Water and Wastewater Commission at its May 9 meeting that the black-capped vireo – one of Central Texas’ most famed birds that has maintained an endangered designation since 1987 – has been retired from the list of endangered species. However, another bird with which it shares its habitat is still on the list. “The golden-cheeked warbler is still very much under contention,” said Schmitt. A few of the commissioners feared that delisting the black-capped vireo would open the door to additional development on lands that were previously protected as sanctuaries for the species. Schmitt explained that although their fears were valid because being listed does provide some additional protection to the properties a species inhabits, she didn’t think that delisting will “change the practice of what is protected” in this case. She also noted that there are many other, albeit less visible, species, like the Bone Cave harvestman arachnid, who inhabit this area and are extended protections that would keep the black-capped vireo’s habitat safe.

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