The United States Declares More Than 20 Species Of Previously Endangered Wildlife As Extinct


Over 23 species of birds, fish, and other wildlife that has been declared extinct by the US government on Wednesday, September 30.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is officially going to declare the majestic ivory-billed woodpecker extinct after years of searching in the South and coming up empty-handed, according to the New York Times.

This rare decision to take out more than 20 species from the endangered list reflects the devastating impact of climate change on habitat and biodiversity. Federal officials have said that climate change threatens many other animals and plant species with extinction.

Officials have said that the factors behind the disappearance of these wildlife species are varied. Some of them are water pollution, logging, invasive species, illegal hunting, and over development and urbanization. However, each factor was ultimately related to humans.

Previously, only 11 species were removed from the list of endangered species in almost 50 years since the Endangered Species Act had become a law (when). The announcement on Wednesday will open a three-month period to comment before the status becomes final.

So far, 902 species have been declared extinct across the globe. However, the actual number is thought to be much higher because we might not have formally identified many species before they became extinct. Scientists have warned that the world is now in an ‘extinction crisis,” which means that the flora and fauna of our world are disappearing at 1000 times the historical rate.

Several scientists, however, have hope and say that some of the species that are being declared extinct could reappear. John Fitzpatrick, who is a leading figure in the hunt to find the ivory-billed woodpecker said that declaring the bird extinct is premature, especially after millions of dollars have been spent on searches and habitation preservation efforts.

Cover Image: Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Arthur A. Allen/ Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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