The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Wednesday proposed removing two animals and a plant from the endangered species list, declaring them involuntarily extinct.
They have already joined the list of 650 U.S. species listed.
Recent listings include eight species of ivory-billed woodpeckers, Batchman’s warbler, Cioto madatom, San Marcos Gambusia, and southeastern freshwater oysters. Only eight birds and one flower from Hawaii. The U.S. territory of Guam also included a bird and a bat.
Ivory billed woodpeckers are probably the most well-known species of fish and wildlife services declared extinct. The Associated Press reports that almonds have stubbornly come out, an uncertain presence in recent decades that has sparked a frenzy of ultimately futile exploration in the wetlands of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.
A leading figure in the search for ivory-billed carpenters said it was premature to stop the effort after spending millions of dollars searching and conserving the habitat.
With the announcement of the extinction, “little is gained and much is lost,” John Fitzpatrick, a bird biologist at Cornell University, told the AP.
There is a three-month comment period before the updated list of fish and wildlife is finalized.
According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the updated list includes animals and plants found in at least 1 US state.
Scientists warn that climate change, especially on a warmer planet, over other pressures, could make such disappearances more common. There are mostly human-related factors behind the extinction: overdevelopment, water pollution, logging, competition of invasive species introduced by humans, birds killed for feathers, and animals captured by private collectors.
Environmental groups also pointed to the government bureaucracy in slowing protection.
“The Endangered Species Act has prevented the extinction of 99% of plants and animals under its care, but unfortunately these species have become extinct or nearly extinct,” said Tiara Curry, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The tragedy will be even greater if we do not repeat this by fully funding species conservation and rapid recovery efforts. Delay equals the death of vulnerable wildlife.”
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A 2016 study found that species waited between 12 years to be protected from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In today’s announcement, several species have become extinct during the enlistment process, including the Guam Broadbill, the little Mariana fruit bat, and the southern acornshell, strippercell and upland combshell oysters.
In total, at least three species have become extinct pending protection, with the Center for Biological Diversity predicting that hundreds more species will be on the endangered species list as they face extinction.
Nine months into his term, President Biden has not filled the post of director of fish and wildlife services.
The Biden administration requested an increase of more than 60 million for endangered species, the largest increase requested for this program in history. The House Appropriations Committee reduced that request to 17 million.
Increasingly, environmentalists and economists are paying a financial price for the lost species and pressuring political powers to do the same.
A separate report from Fish and Wildlife states that American soil is moving closer to the endangered state. According to forecasts by the World Economic Forum, pollen loss alone would be equivalent to a collapse in global agricultural production of about 7 217 billion.