‘It’s a wake-up call’

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Nearly two dozen endangered species are now classified as extinct by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the latest conservation “wake-up call.”
The agency announced that 21 species will be delisted from the Endangered Species Act due to extinction as of Tuesday but will not go into effect until next month.
“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,” Service Director Martha Williams said in a statement.
The list of species includes the Little Mariana fruit bat, also known as the Mariana flying fox, which was first classified as endangered in 1984 and last seen in 1968.
The bat is the only mammal recently declared extinct on the list, which features 10 birds, two fish and eight mussels.
“The circumstances of each also underscore how human activity can drive species decline and extinction by contributing to habitat loss, overuse, and the introduction of invasive species and diseases,” the agency wrote in its announcement Monday.
“As we commemorate 50 years of the Endangered Species Act this year, we are reminded of the Act’s purpose to be a safety net that stops the journey toward extinction.”
4 The San Marcos gambusia was removed from the endangered list this year. tpwd.texas.gov
The goal of the Endangered Species Act, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is early intervention to protect nearly extinct species before it’s too late and has been reported as saving an estimated 99% of species from extinction.
Most of the 21 species newly classified as extinct were first considered endangered in the 1970s and ’80s, at which point they existed in “very low numbers” or were “likely already extinct.”
One bird that surprisingly will remain on the endangered list is the ivory-billed woodpecker.
Although it hasn’t been officially sighted since 1944 and has been endangered since 1967, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service, the organization plans to “continue to analyze and review” data before making a final determination, due to “substantial disagreement among scientists” about its actual status.
4 Also joining the list was Bachman’s warbler, shown in an 1834 depiction by artist Robert Havell. Heritage Images via Getty Images
4 The ivory-billed woodpecker will remain on the endangered list pending further research. Universal Images Group via Getty Images
In 2019, researchers warned that 1 million species were at risk of extinction due to human behavior, such as overfishing, deforestation, pollution, habitat destruction and climate change, by way of burning fossil fuels that have resulted in unlivable environments for certain species.
The 39-page report claimed that species loss was accelerating at an unprecedented — and alarmingly rapid — rate and was co-signed by representatives from 109 nations.
“This is the strongest call we’ve seen for reversing the trends on the loss of nature,” said Rebecca Shaw, the chief scientist at the World Wildlife Fund who observed the report’s negotiations at the time.
4 The Po’ouli — or honeycreeper — has also joined the extinct roster. Paul E. Baker, US Fish & Wildlife Service
Species delisted from the Endangered Species Act:


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