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Extinction Countdown

After Near-Extinction, Recovery Declared for 2 Island Foxes

island fox

Most efforts to rescue threatened species from the risk of extinction involve decades of hard work. Even our country’s national symbol, the iconic bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), required more than 40 years before it had recovered enough to leave the protection of the Endangered Species Act. Every once in a while, though, things move a [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Unusual Night Lizard Returns after Eradication of Invasive Species

Island Night Lizard

A rare reptile found only on a few islands off the California coast has become the latest species to recover and leave the protection of the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported this week. The island night lizard (Xantusia riversiana) originally faced threats from nonnative species such as goats, pigs and [...]

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Extinction Countdown

25 Years after Exxon Valdez Spill, Sea Otters Recovered in Alaska’s Prince William Sound

sea otter

It took a quarter century, but the northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) living in Alaska’s Prince William Sound have finally recovered from the effects of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, according to a new report from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The spill itself killed an estimated 40 percent of the 6,500 sea [...]

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Extinction Countdown

First Wild Beaver in 800 Years Confirmed in England? [Video]

eurasian beaver

Few species recoveries have ever been as dramatic as that of the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber). Once overhunted to near extinction, only 1,200 beavers remained by the year 1900. Today, after more than a century of intense management and reintroductions, the beaver population stands at more than one million (pdf), which can now be found [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Rediscoveries, Recovery and Other Good News for Endangered Species

Every few months, I try to point out that the news about endangered species isn’t all doom and gloom. Oh sure, most of the stories I cover are pretty depressing, but then I come across the success stories that make it all worthwhile. Recovered First up, we have this week’s announcement that the Lake Erie [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Central American crocodile recovers and crawls off endangered species list

crocodile

Sometimes conservation plans work so well that once-endangered species no longer need protection. That’s the case in Central America, where the Morelet’s crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) has recovered enough that many of the protections put in place decades ago to help it are now on the verge of being lifted. Once heavily hunted for their skin, [...]

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