Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
Final Plan to Ensure Long-Term Health of Recovered Songbird Available
FWS and Partners will monitor black-capped vireo for 12 years

September 18, 2018

Contact(s):

Debra Bills, 817-277-1100, debra_bills@fws.gov
Lesli Gray, 972-439-4542, lesli_gray@fws.gov


A black-capped vireo sits on a tree branch.

Black-capped vireo. Credit: © Gil Eckrich

On April 16, 2018, the Service delisted the black-capped vireo due to recovery as a result of collaborative conservation efforts with our long-standing partners. To ensure that the species continues to thrive, we are announcing the final Post-Delisting Monitoring Plan (PDMP) for the songbird.

Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), once a species is delisted due to recovery, monitoring of the species for a minimum of five years is required to help ensure that the species remains stable and does not decline. Under the final PDMP for the vireo, the bird will be monitored for the next 12 years.

Thirty years ago, the future for the black-capped vireo was not very bright. The population had been negatively impacted by habitat loss and nest parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds, and only 350 birds were known to exist in a few locations in Texas, Oklahoma and Mexico. Thanks to cooperative and collaborative conservation efforts by the Service, the States of Oklahoma and Mexico. Thanks to cooperative and collaborative conservation efforts by the Service, the States of Oklahoma and Texas, the U.S. Army, private landowners and non-governmental organizations there are now more than 5,200 known birds and more than 14,000 estimated across their breeding range.

The PDMP for the black-capped vireo was developed in collaboration with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Fort Hood and Fort Sill Military Installations and The Nature Conservancy of Texas.

The PDMP will help inform future management and conservation efforts for the vireo. The plan describes the methods we will use to monitor the status of the vireo and its habitat, in cooperation with our partners, for a 12-year period. The PDMP also provides a strategy for identifying and responding to any future population declines or habitat loss.

The black-capped vireo is the smallest member of the vireo family occurring regularly in the Unites States. It breeds in Texas, Oklahoma and northern Mexico and winters exclusively in Mexico along the Pacific Coast. Sporting a namesake black cap and white facemask, blackcapped vireos build intricate hanging cup nests two to four feet above the ground fastened to the branches of shrubs with strands from spider webs, and return to the same breeding site year after year.

The final PDMP is available at https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/ArlingtonTexas/.

America’s fish, wildlife and plant resources belong to all of us, and ensuring the health of imperiled species is a shared responsibility. We’re working to actively engage conservation partners and the public in the search for improved and innovative ways to conserve and recover imperiled species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.