(AP) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has declared the Eastern black rail a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
According to the agency, the bird nicknamed the “feathered mouse” is threatened by sea level rise and the increasing frequency and intensity of storms as well as habitat destruction.
Populations have declined by more than 75% over the last 10 to 20 years.
The “threatened” designation falls short of what some environmentalists were seeking.
The Center for Biological Diversity, which first proposed protections for the bird 10 years ago, had hoped it would be listed as “endangered,” which would bring more protection for the remaining population.