The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has listed seven imperiled Brazilian birds as protected under the Endangered Species Act, the New York Times reports.
In a statement issued Tuesday, the agency called Brazilian federal protection laws “inadequate” in preserving the threatened species, several of which are considered at risk of extinction.
Registering the birds on the U.S. endangered list will speed the flow of federal grants toward international conservation projects and aid negotiations to improve protection efforts, the Times said. The move will also draw attention to development projects proposed by the U.S. government and multilateral lending agencies that might destroy the birds’ habitat.
The majority of the birds live in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest and Cerrado biome, which have been ravaged by deforestation for agricultural and resource extraction purposes. Only about 7 percent of the original Atlantic Forest remains intact today, the Times said.
“Protecting these species under the Endangered Species Act will give them a better chance of survival, and it will help attract worldwide attention to the urgent plight of these animals,” Justin Augustine, staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. “We hope the Obama administration continues to undo the significant backlog of foreign species that deserve protection but have yet to receive it.”
The newly proctected species include: the black-hooded antwren, Brazilian merganser, cherry-throated tanager, fringe-backed fire-eye, Kaempfer’s tody-tyrant, Margaretta’s hermit, and southeastern rufous-vented ground-cuckoo.