10 Mar 2010

Endangered Pacific birds added to US protection list

12:54 pm on 10 March 2010

More than 50 species of rare birds from American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Marianas and Hawaii have been given extra protection under United States law.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service announced on Monday that the birds have been added to a list of species protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Among the breeds protected are the Many-Coloured Fruit Dove and the Guam Rail.

The regional chief of migratory birds for the Fish and Wildlife Service, Brad Bortner, says the species now come under US federal law which prohibits their killing or capture.

"They're native birds that have previously been overlooked by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Many of them are vulnerable to impacts from climate change, sea level rise, habitat loss and invasive species."

This is the first time new species have been added to the list since 1985.