Cascade mountain wolves. Santa Barbara song sparrows. Golden toads. Caribbean monk seals. Las Vegas dace. Imperial woodpeckers. Ainsworth’s salamander. Tasmanian tigers.
Extinct. Gone. Wiped from the face of the earth.
The species listed above all went extinct in the early and mid 1900s, and they were not alone. Now, evidence is growing to suggest we are in the midst of a sixth mass extinction where we could the loss of species is 1,000 times faster than normal due to human activities.
Grizzly bears. Humpback whales. Tennessee purple coneflower. Lake Erie water snake. American Alligators. Bald eagles. These are among the nearly 50 species who were brought back from the brink of extinction after protections from the Endangered Species Act went into place. Thankfully, more than 95% of species listed under the ESA are still with us today.
The ESA passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and was enacted on December 28, 1973. In honor of its 50th anniversary, for the next 50 days Defenders of Wildlife will be highlighting 50 species recovered or protected by the ESA. Here is a sneak preview of just five of the 50 species we are highlighting in the countdown:
Follow Defenders on our website to learn more about these species and the other 45 species we’re highlighting!