U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking public comment on eider plan

Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is looking for public comments on a draft recovery plan for the Alaska-breeding population of the Steller's eider.

The Alaska-breeding population of the diving duck was listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1997.

The draft recovery plan is available for comment until July 29.

The plan outlines what's needed for the species to recover.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the cause for the decline of the species is unknown.

The decline may be due to predation, hunting, ingestion of spent lead shot, environmental changes or exposure to contaminants, according to biologists.

The breeding population in Alaska may be only 1,000 birds, said the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The current world population is estimated to be 150,000- to 200,000 birds.

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