OH NO: 23 species declared extinct | Totally Vegan Buzz
23 species declared extinct
Image: Instagram and @Wazupnaija / Twitter

Government scientists have no hopes of finding the ivory-billed woodpecker, Bachman’s warbler, 11 species from Hawaii and Guam, as well as the San Marcos gambusia, a freshwater fish from Texas.

This week, the US Fish & Wildlife Service proposed to delist 23 birds, fish and other species from the Endangered Species Act because they can no longer be found.

The agency has documented 23 species as extinct. They include the ivory-billed woodpecker (dubbed as the “Lord God Bird” by bird watchers), Bachman’s warbler, eight species of freshwater mussels, eight birds from Hawaii, a flowering plant and the Little Mariana fruit bat that once lived in Guam.

The ivory-billed woodpecker, which was once the country’s largest bird of its kind, was rediscovered in Arkansas in 2004 after its previous confirmed sighting in 1944 in Louisiana. However, the woodpecker hasn’t been spotted since then.

According to federal wildlife officials, ‘protections were provided too late’ and government scientists have now exhausted efforts after spending years and millions of dollars to find them.

Extinction driven by climate change

The disappearances are not limited to the US.  Global data indicates that around 902 species have been documented as extinct in recent years. The actual number is expected to be much higher because some species are never formally identified.

According to a Cornell University study, the US and Canada had nearly 3 billion fewer adult birds flying in their skies in 1990 when compared to figures in 1970.

Moreover, scientists warn the earth is now in an “extinction crisis” with flora and fauna vanishing at 1,000 times the historical rate.

And, factors driving this extinction crisis include loss of forest habitat due to human encroachment, pollution, unscrupulous bird collection, and climate change.

Bridget Fahey, who oversees species classification for the Fish and Wildlife said in a statement: “Each of these 23 species represents a permanent loss to our nation’s natural heritage and to global biodiversity.

“And it’s a sobering reminder that extinction is a consequence of human-caused environmental change.”

In a news release, the US Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said: “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.”

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