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Vireo’s removal from endangered species list will not endanger its habitat

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 by Katy McElroy

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is removing the black-capped vireo, a small songbird that nests in the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, from the federal Endangered Species List. However, the county assured residents yesterday that this development does not mean the preserve would be dismantled. “In fact the delisting is based on the presumption that the preserves will remain in place in order for the species to survive,” said Travis County Commissioner Brigid Shea in the release. The preserve covers over 31,000 acres in western Travis County and was established to “make up for the permanent loss of other endangered species habitat. It currently provides habitat for the vireo as well as the seven still-endangered species and 27 Species of Concern,” according to the release, and in fact the “decision to delist the vireo, which will not affect the BCP, was made with the assumption that protected habitat would remain intact and continue to be managed for the species.” Shea pledged continued support for the preserve and the species it hosts: “Travis County and its partners in the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan (BCCP), including the city of Austin, are committed to protecting this critical habitat in perpetuity.”

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