Seven birds native to Brazil's Atlantic forest have been listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on Tuesday (Dec. 28).
The birds are found almost nowhere else and are threatened by development and deforestation of the highly diverse habitat, the New York Times reports. Some of the birds are threatened with extinction in the wild.
The birds listed include the black-hooded antwren, the cherry-throated tanager, the fringe-backed fire-eye and the southeastern rufous-vented ground-cuckoo.
The bird species are protected under Brazilian law, but the Fish and Wildlife Service has deemed these protections "inadequate," the Times reported. The foreign branch of the service makes money available to protect species in foreign countries around the world, and this listing will make it easier to provide federal money to conservation efforts to protect the birds.
The Atlantic Forest is one of the most diverse forests in the world; it was once twice the size of Texas, though only about 7 percent of its original area remains. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the outgoing president of Brazil has approved the creation of two national parks in the forest.