The US government wants to declare 23 animals extinct, including the great ivory-billed woodpecker. The Federal Agency for Animals and Fish have submitted a proposal to this effect. Most species, including birds and fish, have not been seen for a long time.
The government suspends the search for 23 animals on the endangered species list. “As climate change and wildlife loss push more and more species to the brink of extinction, it is time to step up proactive, collaborative and innovative efforts to save America’s wildlife,” said Deb Haaland, Secretary of State for Natural Resources, US Department of the Interior.
Of the 23 species that have been proposed to be declared extinct, they include bats, 11 birds, 8 freshwater mussels, two species of fish and a flowering plant in the mint family, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
The ivory-billed woodpecker, also known to bird-watchers as the “bird of God,” was the largest woodpecker in America. But logging in ancient forests in the southern United States has destroyed its habitat. The agency said the last known sighting was in 1944 in southeastern Louisiana. A note from 2004 is hotly disputed, it is likely to be a different species of woodpecker.
Scientists have warned that human-induced climate change and habitat destruction will increasingly prevent animals from becoming extinct. Currently, 1,300 animals are on the United States’ list of the most endangered species.
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