Several Pacific bird species to be protected under US initiative

Several Pacific species are among a list of 31 of the world's most imperiled birds that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service is set to offer stronger protections to.

The Service has agreed to offer protection to six species, with 25 others proposed for listing, in order to settle a lawsuit filed by a San Francisco environmental group.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has promised to publish final listing determinations for the Chatham petrel; the magenta petrel and the Cook's petrel in New Zealand; the Fiji petrel; the Galapagos petrel; and the Heinroth's shearwater in Papua New Guinea.

Among those slated for proposed listing is the Marquesan imperial pigeon.

If foreign bird species are protected under U.S. law, the president may issue funds for conservation programs.

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