Experts from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services are proposing to remove 23 species, considered extinct, from the ESA. These include birds, fish, a bat, mussels, and a mint. Human activity is a significant part of the culprit.

Has the Ivory-billed Woodpecker Disappeared from the Southern U.S.?

The world’s third-largest woodpecker, the ivory-billed woodpecker, known for its attractive plumage and its size, is one of the species that has been declared extinct. The bird has fallen victim to habitat destruction due to intensive logging in the 19th century in the southern U.S.

Photo by James St. John on Flickr

Biologist John Fitzgerald claimed in his article for the journal “Science” that the woodpecker has been spotted again in Arkansas. Thus, the declaration of its extinction was premature. If any species is removed from ESA protection, efforts to protect its habitat are interrupted. “The declaration itself was a death sentence for the woodpecker,” Fitzgerald said.

8 Freshwater Mussels Have Extinct

According to experts, approximately 70% of freshwater mussels are threatened with extinction. 8 mussel species have already signed the decree. The gradual disappearance of the living “biofilters” of rivers is due to the poor condition of U.S. waterways and massive dam systems.

Photo credit: Tim Menard on Flickr –  Wikimedia commons.

Dams are designed to stop moving water. Sediment sinking to the river bottom buries the mussels’ beds. The question is what effect the disappearance of mussels, which serve as food for large river animals, will bring.

Extinction is a natural phenomenon on the planet. One species disappears, and another takes its place. The extent of the sixth mass extinction is a hot topic among biologists. Expert estimates indicate that the current losses are approximately 100 to 1,000 times higher than the general “background” rate. Humans are largely to blame.

Source and credit:, featured photo by Butler Janet, USFWS on Pixnio.