Marbled murrelet will keep federal protection

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A grapefruit-sized seabird that nests in Oregon's coastal forests is still declining and merits federal protection.

That is the result of a review of the marbled murrelet that reverses a 2004 determination by the Bush administration that the birds in California, Oregon and Washington were no different from their more numerous relatives in Canada and therefore not deserving of protection.

…The agency said the reversal was based on three things: the U.S. has far fewew birds than does Canada; the birds here are less successful at reproducing; and the differences between habitat conditions and regulations here and to the north.

"Science has won the day," said Noah Greenwald, biodiversity program director for the Center for Biological Diversity, which was among the environmental groups praising the decision.