Endangered Species in Michigan – Kirtland’s Warbler

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You might not have even heard of this little bird!

Brandy Kehl, Contributing Writer

The Kirtland’s Warbler was discovered in 1841, and recognized in the United States ten years later.

During the 1940s and 1950s, scientists became concerned about the species’ population due to a slowing of nest production rate. This raised some concerns on whether the Kirtland’s Warbler would continue to maintain its own species in the wild. 

In 1957, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources enforced that three designated areas would be management units to protect the nests, through the efforts of multiple organizations, such as the University of Michigan. Six years later, the effort to protect the bird’s species was advanced by the U.S. Forest Service, which dedicated 4,010 acres to the management of Kirtland’s Warblers. 

Unfortunately, the back and forth struggle to protect the species continued on for years. In 1969, the species was officially named to be endangered by the Endangered Species Conservation Act. 

However, thanks to the work of environmental conversationalists, as well as Michigan’s state government, the Kirtland’s Warbler was removed from the list of endangered species last year. With the work of the Kirtland’s Warbler Recovery Team, formed in 1975, and numerous federal wildlife foundations, this native bird is now safely thriving in the wild.