On December 10, 2015, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) voted to advance the tricolored blackbird (Agelaius tricolor) as a candidate species for listing under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). The species is now subject to the same legal protections as endangered or threatened species under CESA.

As we previously reported, on June 11, 2015, the Commission voted not to make the tricolored blackbird a candidate for listing under CESA. The species had been listed on an emergency basis in December 2014 but, as a result of the Commission’s inaction in June, that emergency listing lapsed on June 30, 2015, and the species was no longer protected under CESA.

On August 19, 2015, the Center for Biological Diversity submitted a new petition to list the tricolored blackbird. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) determined that, based upon the information contained in the August 2015 petition, there was sufficient information to indicate that listing may be warranted. The Department recommended that the Commission accept the petition for further consideration under CESA.

The Commission’s most recent decision triggers a 12-month status review period during which the Commission will determine whether to list the tricolored blackbird as threatened or endangered.