DNR Says Kirtland Warbler Population Has Stabilized

Scientists say the population of the endangered Kirtland warbler has stabilized at a level that should ensure long-term survival for the songbird. But, officials note that long-term survival will only be possible with continued help from humans. The Kirtland warbler breeds only in Michigan, except for a few scattered pairs in Wisconsin and Ontario. The bird was nearly extinct a few decades ago because of a loss of habitat. But the bird has managed to bounce back in the northern Lower Peninsula thank to conservation efforts. The Department of Natural Resources announced today that this year's census turned up 1,805 singing males in Michigan. Officials say they believe there is at least one female for each singing male, putting the population at about 3,600. DNR officials say if the population remains stable, the bird may eventually come off the endangered species list.