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Trump administration stops probing most bird deaths: report

Trump administration stops probing most bird deaths: report
© U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Trump administration has stopped looking into most bird deaths and has discouraged local governments and companies from taking precautionary steps to safeguard the creatures, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The newspaper reported that there was "no response" from the federal government after birds were killed and nests were harmed by oil spills, construction and chemical contamination, citing emails, memos and other documents. 

The Times particularly noted one instance in which an oil company in Wyoming wanted to confirm that it did not have to report bird deaths to the Fish and Wildlife Service.

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“You are correct,” the agency reportedly told the company.

However, laws such as the Endangered Species Act remain in place, Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Gavin Shire told the Times.

He said that the administration will "continue to work cooperatively with our industry partners to minimize impacts on migratory birds.”

The Times reported that preservation efforts have suffered from a 2017 policy change that was presented as a technical clarification. 

But Noah Greenwald, the Center for Biological Diversity's endangered species director, has said that the administration has created a "fundamental shift [that] lets industrial companies, utilities and others completely off the hook.”