Extinction - US to declare 23 species, including ivory-billed woodpecker, officially extinct
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Extinction

US to declare 23 species, including ivory-billed woodpecker, officially extinct


Story by asiaone.com

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Published on October 1, 2021 4:04 AM
 
The ivory-billed woodpecker was believed to have been seen in a remote part of Arkansas, ornithologists said on April 28, 2005. Several experts have spotted and heard at least one and possibly more ivory-billed woodpeckers deep in an ancient cypress swamp in eastern Arkansas. One was videotaped last year.
 
The ivory-billed woodpecker, whose last confirmed sighting was nearly 80 years ago, is one of 23 federally protected species that would be officially declared extinct – the most ever at one time – under a US government proposal announced on Wednesday (Sept 29).

Although the woodpecker and some of the other creatures proposed for removal from the US endangered species list have been functionally extinct for decades, scientists have warned that human-caused climate change and habitat destruction could make such disappearances more common.

"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," said US Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service proposal would mark the largest group of animals and plants to be formally consigned to oblivion at once under America's main wildlife protection law, the Endangered Species Act (ESA), since it was passed in 1973.

Only 11 species previously listed under the act have been classified as extinct over the years, said Brian Hires, a spokesman for the Interior Department agency.

The 23 species now proposed for delisting comprise a fruit bat, 11 birds, eight freshwater mussels, two types of fish, and a flowering plant in the mint family, the agency said...