"This year is the warmest on record in the Northeast so the need to protect the Bicknell's thrush couldn't be more urgent," Matteson said Tuesday.
Scientists consider the decline of a plant or animal species to be an indication of the overall health of the natural environment. Measures to protect the Bicknell's thrush would also benefit other species that depend on the boreal forests they inhabit.
Matteson said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is launching a yearlong review of the songbird's status after receiving a petition from the center.