ALL NEWS

Nearly two dozen species of birds, fish and other wildlife are set to be declared extinct and removed from the endangered species list

Sep 29, 2021, 11:47 AM
nearing extinction...
The ivory-billed woodpecker, seen here as a mounted specimen, was last sighted in the 1980s in Louisiana. Mandatory Credit: Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

    (CNN) — The ivory-billed woodpecker, along with 22 other species of birds, fish, mussels and other wildlife, is set to be declared extinct and removed from the endangered species list, US wildlife officials announced Wednesday.

“For the species proposed for delisting today, the protections of the (Endangered Species Act) came too late, with most either extinct, functionally extinct, or in steep decline at the timing of listing,” the US Fish and Wildlife Service said.

Also slated for delisting are the Bachman’s warbler, two species of freshwater fishes, eight species of Southeastern freshwater mussels and 11 species from Hawaii and the Pacific Islands.

“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 disease. The growing impacts of climate change are anticipated to further exacerbate these threats and their interactions,” the wildlife agency said.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland further underscored the need to take action to prevent extinction and protect biodiversity.

“With climate change and natural area loss pushing more and more species to the brink, now is the time to lift up proactive, collaborative, and innovative efforts to save America’s wildlife,” Haaland said Wednesday in a statement. “The Endangered Species Act has been incredibly effective at preventing species from going extinct and has also inspired action to conserve at-risk species and their habitat before they need to be listed as endangered or threatened.

“We will continue to ensure that states, Tribes, private landowners, and federal agencies have the tools they need to conserve America’s biodiversity and natural heritage.”

Monarch butterfly and other species are wait-listed

The species placed on the extinction list had not been seen in decades, so their inclusion came as little surprise to experts.

More concerning are species on the wait list for protection by the wildlife agency, said Tierra Curry, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity.

The monarch butterfly is of particular concern, she said. It wasn’t added to the federal endangered species list in December and won’t be reconsidered until 2024.

“It means the population can crash with no protection,” Curry said, noting climate change, hotter temperatures and pesticide use threaten the butterfly’s migration pattern and food sources. “It’s beloved; it used to be common.”

Climate change is making fragile conditions for some declining species even more challenging, she said.

“Climate change threatens life on Earth,” Curry said. “We have to fight climate change and biodiversity loss at the same time. Climate changes gets a lot more attention than extinction, but extinction is a big problem.”

The proposal to delist the 23 species announced Wednesday will be open for public comment until the end of December, the agency said.

Ivory-billed woodpecker relied on scarce habitat

Almost 3 billion birds have been lost in North America since 1970, according to a US Fish and Wildlife Service news release.

The ivory-billed woodpecker was never known as a common bird because it depended on large Southern swamps with lots of space and food to thrive, according to the American Bird Conservancy. Once its habitat began to disappear because of uncontrolled logging, the woodpecker became scarce. It was frequently shot by hunters and collectors, which likely contributed to its disappearance, the conservancy said.

The last positively confirmed sighting of the ivory-billed woodpecker in the United States was in Louisiana in the 1940s, said John Fitzpatrick, director emeritus of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. But there are reports of sightings and grainy video of the bird dating to the early 2000s in eastern Arkansas that haven’t been confirmed.

“My view, it’s way premature to declare the bird extinct officially on the part of the US Fish and Wildlife Service because the bird may still exist,” he told CNN. “The point of declaring something extinct is having rock solid evidence that it is gone.”

Fitzpatrick and other ornithologists will petition the wildlife agency during the comment period to take the bird off the extinction list, he said.

“I’m hopeful they’ll take another look at this and say we can actually pull this back for another decade or two,” Fitzpatrick said. “We continue to say it’s worth searching for this bird.”

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

(Photo courtesy of Salt_Verse on Twitter)...
Rachel Metz, CNN Business

This guy is using AI to make movies — and you can help decide what happens next

"Salt" resembles many science-fiction films from the '70s and early '80s. The way it was created points to what could be a new frontier for making movies.
13 hours ago
The short range missile was fired early Sunday morning local time from the Taechon area of North Py...
Yoonjung Seo, Junko Ogura and Larry Register, CNN

North Korea fires ballistic missile into waters off east coast of Korean peninsula

North Korea has fired a ballistic missile into the waters off the east coast of the Korean peninsula, according to officials in both South Korea and Japan.
2 days ago
Anderson was arrested the morning of Sept. 24, 2022, by West Valley Police on felony child sexual a...
Waverly Golden

First grade teacher in Magna arrested on felony child sexual abuse charges

Elk Run Elementary first grade teacher Dale Anderson was arrested this morning on felony child sexual abuse charges.
2 days ago
The Nephi City Police said in a Facebook post that a man was luring children to his vehicle yesterd...
Waverly Golden

Be on lookout for suspicious vehicle in Nephi

The Nephi City Police said in a Facebook post that a man was luring children to his vehicle yesterday afternoon.
2 days ago
Aaron Fotheringham, aka "Wheelz" from Nitro Circus taught and performed tricks at Wheelchair Palooz...
Waverly Golden

Wheelchair Palooza at Woodward Park City

Aaron Fotheringham, aka "Wheelz" from Nitro Circus taught and performed tricks at Wheelchair Palooza in Park City.
2 days ago
Semi CAX...
Simone Seikaly

Two-vehicle crash involving a semi closes Highway 138 on Friday

A two-vehicle crash involving a fuel truck on Friday morning closed Highway 138 in Tooele County.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Nearly two dozen species of birds, fish and other wildlife are set to be declared extinct and removed from the endangered species list