Target: Jim Kurth, Acting Director of U.S Fish and Wildlife Services
Goal: Intensify efforts to save the Guam Rail from extinction.
Declared extinct in the wild, the Guam Rail is a flightless bird endemic to the territory of Guam. Heavy predation by non-native species dropped the Guam Rail to threatened status back in 1988. Their population has continued to decline, leaving them dangerously close to extinction. Reintroduction efforts are on hold until the feral cat population can be controlled. This predicament leaves captive breeding programs the only hope for saving the Guam Rail.
In order to bring the rare flightless bird of Guam up to a sustainable breeding population, feral cats should be removed from the area. To prevent feral cats from repopulating, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service should use a trap, neuter and return program. This would keep the feral cat population from growing while also avoiding an inhumane method of population control. Establishing a predator-free zone is imperative to providing the Guam Rail with a fighting chance of repopulation.
The Guam Rail was found in most types of habitat throughout Guam. Establishing a safe breeding ground would help the near-extinct birds to make a comeback. While their numbers are so low, they will require human aid in returning to the wild. Captive breeding programs should continue in addition to moving some breeding pairs into controlled wild areas. If nothing is done soon, the Guam Rail will become another species lost to extinction. Sign the petition below to urge immediate action in protecting this rare species.
Dear Jim Kurth,
The Guam Rail, declared extinct in the wild, is in desperate need of help. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service created a breeding program and a redistribution program in order to save this bird. Unfortunately, the efforts to reintroduce the Guam Rail into the wild have come to a halt. Problems with feral cats have proven to be a roadblock in repopulating the species. Continuing with the captive breeding program won’t help the Guam Rail in the wild if no efforts to create a safer environment are made.
Feral cat populations can be controlled by utilizing the trap, neuter and return programs. In addition to controlling the feral cats, safe breeding havens should be set up around the island. This would allow birds to begin mating in the wild without the concern of invasive species or other predators. There is no reason to halt the reintroduction of the Guam Rail. The longer they are kept in captivity, the harder it will be to reintroduce them.
Please intensify the efforts to bring the Guam Rail back to the wild. Don’t let this rare flightless bird become completely extinct.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Greg Hume