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: Such a protracted, magnificent ivory woodpecker: 23 species from 19 states are threatened with extinction

The U.S. The Fish and Wildlife Service on Wednesday proposed removing 23 animals and one plant from the list of endangered species and reluctantly declaring them all likely extinct.

They join the list of 650 US species that are already considered lost.

Recent listings include the ivory woodpecker, the Bachman warbler, the Scioto Madtom, the Gambusia of San Marcos, and eight species of southeastern freshwater clams. Eight birds and one flower come from Hawaii alone. A bird and bat from the US Territory of Guam were also included.

The ivory-billed woodpecker was perhaps the best-known species that the Fish and Wildlife Service declared extinct. The woodpecker persisted and made unconfirmed appearances in the past few decades that sparked a frenzy of ultimately unsuccessful searches in the swamps of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida, the Associated Press reported.

A leader in the ivory woodpecker hunt said it was premature to abandon efforts after spending millions of dollars on habitat search and conservation.

"Little is gained and much is lost" with an extinction statement, Cornell University avian biologist John Fitzpatrick told the AP.

There is a three month comment period before Fish and Wildlife makes the updated list permanent.

Examples of the Bachman singer are in a sample dish at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

AP

The Center for Biological Diversity said the updated list includes animals and plants found in at least 19 states.

Scientists warn that climate change, especially a warming planet, in addition to other pressures, could make such disappearances more common. Behind extinction are mainly human-made factors: overdevelopment, water pollution, logging, competition from invasive species introduced by humans, birds killed for feathers, and animals caught by private collectors.

Environmental groups also pointed to the government's bureaucracy in slowing down protection.

"The Endangered Species Act prevented the extinction of 99% of the plants and animals it cares for, but unfortunately those species were extinct or nearly disappeared when they were added," said Tierra Curry, a senior scientist at the Center for Biology Diversity. “The tragedy will be even greater if we don't prevent this from happening again by fully funding rapidly advancing conservation and restoration efforts. Delay is synonymous with death for endangered wildlife. "

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A 2016 study found that species had to wait an average of 12 years to receive conservation measures from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Several of the species in today's announcement became extinct during a delay in the inclusion process, including the Guam broad-beak, the small Mariana fruit bat, and the southern acorn, stirrup, and highland scallop.

Tuberous pearl mussels that were once collected from the Ohio River. The freshwater clam is one of the 23 species US wildlife authorities say are extinct.

AP

In total, at least 47 species have become extinct awaiting protection, the Center for Biodiversity predicts, suggesting hundreds more species are threatened with extinction while waiting for an endangered species list.

Nine months after his tenure, President Biden has not filled the post of director of the Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Biden government requested an increase of more than $ 60 million for endangered species, the largest increase requested for the program in history. The House Budgets Committee reduced that motion by $ 17 million.

Environmentalists and economists are placing increasing emphasis on lost species and are pushing political forces to do the same.

A separate report from Fish and Wildlife said the American bumblebee is nearing extinction. The loss of pollinators alone would mean a decline in global agricultural production of around $ 217 billion a year, the World Economic Forum predicts.

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