Endangered species thrive at army base

2013-08-11 10:56
Bird. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Bird. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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San Francisco - North America's rarest bird is rebounding from the brink of extinction on a US Navy bombing range.

The San Clemente Island loggerhead shrike is among scores of endangered species thriving on military lands.

For many, it's a surprising contrast, with troops preparing for war, yet taking precautions to not disturb animals such as the red-cockaded woodpecker and thumb-size Pacific pocket mouse. But military officials downplay the relationship, saying they're concerned primarily with national security.

Defence spending on threatened and endangered species jumped nearly 45% over the past decade to about $73m in 2012, and the military protects roughly 420 federally listed species on 11.3 million hectares.

The numbers show that the military's top brass realises the more wildlife thrives, the fewer training restrictions the armed forces face.

Read more on:    birds

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