Trump administration moves ahead on gutting bird protections

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Pelicans fly over and sit on man made rock revetment on Queen Bess Island in Barataria Bay, La., Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. The island provides a crucial nesting ground for pelicans and other seabirds and is being restored to nearly its former size after decades of coastal erosion and the devastating blow of an offshore oil spill 10 years ago. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(AP) — The Trump administration is moving forward on gutting a longstanding federal protection for roughly 1,000 species of birds in the United States.

Friday’s move comes despite objections from former federal officials and many scientists that billions more birds will likely perish in coming decades as a result. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published its assessment of the rule, a final step that means the rollback could become official in 30 days.

Oil and gas and other industries had sought the rollback, which sharply limits federal prosecution for industry practices that kill migratory birds.

Industry operations kill an estimated 450 million to 1.1 billion birds annually.

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