On September 29, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed declaring 23 species completely extinct. Among declared animals are eleven bird species, eight types of mussels, two types of frogs, one bat species, and one plant.
The final decision to declare these species extinct will be made on December 29.
Many of these birds have not been seen for many years. The ivory-billed woodpecker has not been seen since 1944, and some other extinct species for more than a century.
Other species include the San Marcos gambusia fish, Bachman’s warbler, and many Hawaiian birds.
Most of these animals went extinct because of the destruction of their natural habitats and climate changes. This declaration serves as a reminder that many more animals and plants are likely to disappear if nothing is done to prevent it.
Although some estimates suggest that 20 species go extinct every day, the declarations of extinction are not common.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rarely removes species from the endangered species list. Only 11 have been removed and declared extinct in the last 48 years.
This means that since the Endangered Species Act was introduced in 1973, 99% of the endangered animals that were put under the act’s protection have survived.
However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seriously underfunded, and it receives only 3.5% of what is needed to help species recover. For some species, less than $10,000 is spent annually in preservation efforts.
However, there is some hope. There is a proposition to raise the fundings by $60 million. With these funds, the Service will be able to save thousands of species.
Let’s hope that the raise is going to be accepted, so we never see a declaration like this again.