Congratulate Successful Efforts to Save Rare American Bird

Target: The Center for Biological Diversity

Goal: Commend the Center for Biological Diversity for succeeding in its long fight to save the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife has just declared over 200,000 acres as protected critical habitat for the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher. The land extends along 1,227 miles of river in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Nevada. This new protection is in direct response to litigation by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). The CBD has been fighting relentlessly to save the species since 1992, when it first petitioned for the southwestern willow flycatcher to be listed as an endangered species. After a three-year campaign, the CBD gained the support to get the southwestern willow flycatcher on the endangered species list. This resulted in land being designated as protected habitat, but not nearly as much as was needed. Since then, saving the species has been an uphill battle. Land was taken away, and the CBD had to fight again to get it back. It sued the government in 2008 and has been in a legal battle until now, when it won back its land and then some. Thank the CBD for never giving up and for singlehandedly ensuring the protection of this species.

The southwestern willow flycatcher is fighting to survive against adverse conditions. In addition to habitat loss and fragmentation from humans, there have been other endangering circumstances. Tamarisk invasion took over the native plants, particularly the willow in which the southwestern willow flycatcher nests. Though the birds can nest in the tamarisk as well, it causes destruction of its surrounding habitat in general which causes negative consequences. A species of beetle was illegally released to combat the tamarisk plant, and like most introduced species, it has been causing more harm than good. The beetles take over the bird’s nests and destroy them. Overgrazing from domestic cattle in the area has caused a lack of regeneration of willow trees for the southwestern willow flycatcher. Floods from logging in nearby areas, pesticides, and cowbird parasitism also contribute to their decline.

Needless to say, these birds are fighting against the odds. If it weren’t for the CBD’s efforts, the southwestern willow flycatcher could end up being another species lost. Commend the CBD for exhausting its resources, time and effort for 11 years to provide protection for this animal.


Dear Center for Biological Diversity,

I am writing to you to thank you for everything you have done for the southwestern willow flycatcher. You singlehandedly fought for this bird to be recognized and listed as an endangered species. In turn, you provided protective critical habitat for these animals. When that was taken away from them, you gathered all your resources to provide the information and evidence for their cause, which caused an even greater portion of land to be protected for the southwestern willow flycatcher.

Thanks to your efforts this species, which would have otherwise gone overlooked, will get a chance to make a recovery. Without your determination that has failed to falter for over a decade, this would not be possible. On behalf of all animals that cannot speak for themselves, I appreciate your organization for giving them a voice.


[Your Name Here]

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