Proposed Cuckoo Protections Cause Confusion, Concern

The western yellow-billed cuckoo, a bird subspecies whose populations have verged on extinction in the western United States, is again up for consideration for special protections under the Endangered Species Act — and the proposal has some farmers and ranchers worried for their livelihoods.

For farmers and ranchers in West Texas, the proposal to list the bird's western population as a threatened subspecies — submitted Oct. 3 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — has created questions and few answers. Critics of the proposal, including Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, say the increased protections are unnecessary and could ...

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