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Recovered Midwestern bird soars off endangered species list

Kentucky, Indiana and several other states are known to have colonies of interior least terns.

KENTUCKY, USA — Federal officials say a bird called the interior least tern is being dropped from the endangered species list. The small, fish-eating bird lives along rivers, lakes and wetlands in the Great Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley. 

Its numbers plummeted in the late 19th century as its feathers became popular for women's hats. Later, it was harmed by dam construction and other river engineering. 

Conservation efforts have boosted the interior least tern's numbers in recent decades. Environmental groups support the decision to remove federal protections. 

Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas are all known to have colonies of the terns. 

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