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Endangered no more: Animal species on the rebound

Citing significant improvements in its population and habitat conditions and reductions in direct threats,
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed downlisting the West Indian manatee from “endangered” to “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. Here’s a look at other rare animals whose once-dwindling populations have rebounded.

Endangered no more: Animal species on the rebound

Thanks to conservation efforts by states, landowners and others, the Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel — native to Mid-Atlantic states — is no longer at risk of extinction. One of the animals included on the first list of endangered species nearly a half-century ago, the squirrel was set to be removed from the list in December, the U.S. Department of the Interior said.

Endangered no more: Animal species on the rebound

Columbian white-tailed deer, native to Oregon and Washington, were officially listed as endangered in 1967. They were removed from the list in 2003 after the population grew from less than 2,000 to more than 5,500.

Endangered no more: Animal species on the rebound

The Lake Erie water snake, native to the Great Lake’s waters between Cleveland and Toledo, Ohio, was removed from the endangered species list in 2011. The snakes grow to more than 3 feet in length and are not venomous.

Endangered no more: Animal species on the rebound

A gray whale calf emerges from the waters off Baja California, Mexico, in 2010. The Pacific gray whales have been protected since 1970 and are at the center of a growing whale-watching industry. They were removed from the endangered species list in 1994, although climate change has impacted their food chain and caused their numbers to decline again in recent years.

Endangered no more: Animal species on the rebound

The Steller sea lion, native to Alaska, was removed from the list in 2013 after 23 years of federal protection.

Endangered no more: Animal species on the rebound

The Virginia northern flying squirrel was in danger of extinction in 1985, when scientists documented only 10 remaining animals. But its population made a comeback, and the squirrel was removed from the list in 2013. The squirrel is native to West Virginia and, yes, Virginia. It doesn’t really fly, although membranes between its legs serve as “wings” and let it glide from tree to tree.

Endangered no more: Animal species on the rebound

The American alligator was placed under federal protection in 1979 and removed eight years later thanks to limits on alligator hunting, which had depleted the species.

Endangered no more: Animal species on the rebound

The gray wolf, which can be found in wilderness areas of the northern American West and Canada, was listed as endangered in 1978. After its populations recovered, the wolf was taken off the list in 2011.

Endangered no more: Animal species on the rebound

The red kangaroo, the largest of all kangaroo species, is of course native to Australia’s arid outback rather than the United States. According to a list released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it was added in 1974 and delisted in 1995.

Endangered no more: Animal species on the rebound

The American peregrine falcon was classified as endangered in 1970 after its population was decimated by pesticides. By 1975, there were only 324 known nesting pairs of American peregrine falcons. Conservation efforts helped them rebound, and they were removed from the list in 1999. There are now more than 2,000 known breeding pairs of the birds in North America.

Endangered no more: Animal species on the rebound

Adult brown pelican, found in the coastal Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, can reach up to 8 pounds and have wingspans of over 7 feet. The birds were listed as endangered in 1970 but taken off the list in 2009.

Endangered no more: Animal species on the rebound

The bald eagle, a revered American national symbol, was famously endangered for 40 years. By 1963, only 417 known nesting pairs of bald eagles remained in the U.S. Vigorous conservation efforts revived the handsome bird, and it was removed from the list in 2007. Today there are more than 10,000 nesting pairs of bald eagles in the contiguous United States.

Endangered no more: Animal species on the rebound

The Aleutian Canada goose, found in Alaska, Canada and the Pacific Northwest, numbered only in the hundreds in the mid-1970s. But efforts to recover the bird population were successful, and biologists estimated that there were 37,000 Aleutian Canada geese by the time the bird was removed from the list in 2001.

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