Though rare, the ashy storm petrel — a small gray seabird that lives on the Channel Islands and other offshore zones of the California coast — isn’t rare enough to warrant the federal protection of the Endangered Species Act. That’s what the U.S. Fish & Wildlife determined last week, denying for the second time the Center for Biological Diversity’s request that the bird be listed as either endangered or threatened. The center’s first attempt to list the petrel in 2007 was denied in 2009; the center sued to force the feds to reconsider their decision, but this latest decision reconfirmed Fish & Wildlife’s opinion that the bird is not in imminent danger of extinction. The center disagreed with the decision, citing multiple potential threats to the species, including rising sea levels, island predators, and light pollution from oil rigs and boats.


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