(AP) — Federal officials say a woodpecker declared endangered half a century ago has recovered enough to relax federal protections.
An official with one environmental group calls it a tremendous success. But another says nothing he’s seen so far justifies the change.
Although the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told landowners in April there was a chance of dropping all protection for red-cockaded woodpeckers, it is instead proposing to list them as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Red-cockaded woodpeckers were once found from New Jersey to Florida and east to Texas. The remaining birds are now scattered around 11 states.
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