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6 Animal Removed from the Endangered Species List

Did you know that many animals have been removed from the endangered species list in the last 20 years?  You might be surprised to find out what some of them are.  People always seem to focus on the animals on the list.  Yelling and screaming about all the animals that are about to go extinct.  I prefer to celebrate the animals that have been saved.  Animals that have been taken off the list because they have made a comeback and their numbers have reached a point that the are not in danger of extinction any more.  What a wonderful thing!

#1 The Giant Panda

The adult population of pandas has reached over 1800, and while the cubs have not been counted,  the International Union for the Conservation of Nature believea the total number of pandas has reached over 2,000 and have removed them from the endangered species list.

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7 points

#2 The Bald Eagle

The widespread use of DDT almost wiped out the symbol of our country.  The insecticide built up in the systems of the birds, causing their shells to become so thin that when the mother sat on her eggs she crushed them.  Since the outlaw of DDT in the 70's, the eagle population has been making a come back and has now reached a point that they are no longer endangered.

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#3 The Grey Wolf

By the 1930's, the grey wolf was virtually extinct in the lower 48 United States due to  aggressive hunting, poisoning and trapping by western settlers and farmers.  In the early 70's, ESA protection allowed a small band of wolves in Minnesota to begin rebuilding.  The importing of wolves from Canada to Yellowstone also allowed them to repopulate in that region.  By 2010 there were 8,000 to 10,000 wolves in the continental United States, allowing them to be removed from the endangered species lists

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  1. Unfortunately, through ignorance and lack of knowledge, they sealed the fate of the native wolves in the Rockies, particularly in Montana and Yellowstone National Park. They’re calling it success, but it is the opposite. The wolves they imported from Canada were a subspecies that was larger and more aggressive than the native species, which the larger subspecies immediately began preying upon. In the 1980’s, there were still 40-60 breeding pairs of the native wolf in Yellowstone.

    As of last year, there were 250 breeding pairs of the imported Canadian species in Yellowstone, but not a single member of the native species was found. The last confirmed sighting of one of the smaller native subspecies was 2004. None have been sighted anywhere in Montana, either, and none of the wolves taken during regulated hunts have been the native species. It appears that the native species is now extinct, killed by the Canadian wolves.

#4 The Whooping Crane

In 1941 there were less than 20 of these cranes in the world.  Through breeding programs and reteaching migration routes (the actually led the cranes through new routes with ultralight aircraft flown by biologists!) the whooping crane population is back up in the hundreds, allowing them to be removed from the endangered species list.

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6 points

#5 The White Rhino

The white rhino was hunted for sport in the 1800s.  It was so popular, it almost went extinct in less than 75 years.  Luckily, in 1885, twenty of them were discovered in Kwazulu-Natal, and a rescue breeding program was started.  Since then over 20,000 rhinos have been bred and returned to the wild.

Most all of these animals have been saved through this same type of captive breeding program where mature breeding pairs are protected and fed until sufficient numbers are reached and some of them can be put back in their natural habitat.

It is wonderful that these problems were recognized and action was taken in time to save all these animals.  I hope that more endangered species will be able to be removed from this list in the future.

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5 points

#6 The American Alligator

The alligator was hunted to extinction, strictly because their skin makes lovely boots and purses.  They were almost gone by 1967 when they were taken under the Preservation Act and hunting them was outlawed.  They made a rousing comeback, so much so that they were completely repopulated in only 20 years and were removed from the endangered species list in 1987.

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4 points

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  1. You left out a couple. In the late 1970’s, the black-footed ferret was declared extinct. In 1981, a very small colony of these animals was found in Wyoming. Through a very aggressive live-trapping and breeding program, black-footed ferrets have multiplied and have been reintroduced to several places in their former range, where they are thriving. These animals are still endangered, but removal from the list is in sight now. That is astonishing, considering that it was declared extinct about 40 years ago.

    Then there is the black-tailed prairie dog. This is one of five species of prairie dogs in the US and the numbers had fallen extremely low, primarily due to poisoning. Restrictions were put in place and both ranchers and farmers got an education in regard to the importance of these animals. (For one thing, they are ironically a major food source for black-footed ferrets.) In December 2009, the black-tailed prairie dog had recovered so well that they are not only not now found on the endangered species list, they also aren’t on the federal threatened species list, either.

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