The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed 23 species from the Endangered List because, despite efforts to save them, they have become extinct. Among these is the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, known as the Good Lord Bird because anyone lucky enough to catch sight of the large beautiful bird blurted out the Lord’s name.
Also now extinct are ten species of birds and bats found in the Pacific islands and several species of fresh water mussels found in the Eastern U.S. The newly extinct species are the casualties of climate change and habitat destruction, dying out sooner than any new protections can save them.
The Endangered Species Act, which mandates listing of species that are endangered and taking steps to preserve them, has been a model for conservationists around the world. Among the animals it is credited with saving are icons such as the bald eagle, brown pelican, gray wolf and American alligator, but only 3% of species listed ever recover sufficiently to be removed from the list.
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