In this 2007 photo provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, an interior least tern hatchling sits with other eggs in a nest on an island in the Lower Mississippi River. Once hurt the by the damning of major rivers like the Missouri and before that diminished by hunting for feathers for hats, the interior tern population has increased tenfold in population since 1985 to more than 18,000. On Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose taking the interior population of the least tern off the endangered list. (USACE, Memphis District via AP)

Lots of good terns: Bird ready to fly off endangered list

October 23, 2019 - 5:21 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — A tiny Midwestern bird is ready to fly off the endangered species list.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Wednesday will propose taking the interior population of the least tern off the endangered list.

The least tern was hurt by the damming of major rivers like the Missouri and before that by hunting for feathers for hats. But since it was listed as endangered in 1985, the population has increased tenfold to more than 18,000.

Even conservationists and advocacy groups that often battle the Trump administration over what goes on and off the endangered species list hail the long-trek migrating bird's recovery as an environmental success story.

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