Recovery of the Unique and Threatened Streaked Horned Lark in the Willamette Valley, Oregon: The Need for a Paradigm Shift to Financial Incentives and Targeted Regulation

The purpose of this opinion paper is to 1) provide context and critique of the recent Streaked Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris strigata; hereafter lark) Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing (USFWS 2022), 2) highlight the challenges and inadequacies of the current approach to lark recovery, and 3) present an assessment of the pathway to lark recovery based on my approximately 25 years of lark and Willamette Valley monitoring, research, and conservation efforts. It is important to recognize that unless otherwise indicated all statements made herein refer to the Willamette Valley population of larks only.