21 Species Off Endangered List-Because They’re Extinct


Twenty-one animals have been removed from the Endangered Species Act because, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, they’re not endangered—they’re extinct. The majority of the species—10 types of birds, eight types of mussels, two species of fish, and one type of bat—were listed as endangered in the 1970s and ’80s when they counted very few numbers or may have already been eradicated, per CBS News . FWS proposed delisting the 21 species, along with two others, due to extinction back in 2021. It later withdrew its delisting proposal for a Hawaiian perennial herb and continues to review information on the ivory-billed woodpecker “months after grainy photos and videos emerged that purported to show the bird flying through a Louisiana forest,” per CNN .
The bird’s last confirmed sighting was in 1944. The other 21 species have had no confirmed sightings in the 21st century, per the Hill. Eight of the species were found in Hawaii, including three types of birds: the large Kauai thrush, the Molokai creeper, and the po’ouli, also known as the black-faced honeycreeper. The fish species scioto madtom was previously found in Ohio’s Big Darby Creek, while the San Marcos gambusia was found in Texas’ San Marcos Springs. The little Mariana fruit bat and bridled white-eye bird were found in Guam, per Pacific Daily News. “Federal protection came too late to reverse these species’ decline, and it’s a wake-up call on the importance of conserving imperiled species before it’s too late,” FWS Director Martha Williams says in a release.
It notes the extinctions show “how human activity can drive species decline and extinction by contributing to habitat loss, overuse, and the introduction of invasive species and diseases” and “highlight the importance of the ESA and efforts to conserve species before declines become irreversible.” More than 1,300 species remain listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. “The Service will continue to analyze and review the information before deciding whether to delist the ivory-billed woodpecker,” the agency notes. Renowned ornithologist John Fitzpatrick applauded that move, noting “active searches continue in several regions from Arkansas to Louisiana, and a few images recently released are indeed suggestive,” per CNN. (Read more extinction stories.)


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