The American authorities declared 23 species definitively extinct on Wednesday, including the ivory billed woodpecker, once one of the most majestic birds in America, having not been seen since 1944. Among these 23 species which scientists have lost hope of seeing again a living specimen, there is also another bird, the Bachman's Warbler, two species of freshwater fish, eight species of mussels and a plant. The federal services of protection of the fauna (Fish and Wildlife Service), "determined that these species are extinct," they announced in a statement. The process to remove them from the classification of endangered species has been initiated.
This sad news "underlines how human activity can push species into decline and extinction, contributing to the loss of habitable space, overexploitation, and the introduction of invasive species and disease" , explains the communicated. "The growing effects of climate change can be expected to further exacerbate these threats," he adds. The ivory-billed woodpecker belongs to the woodpecker family (which also includes the best-known woodpecker). Its plumage was black and white, with a red crest for males, and it measured around two feet.
It was classified as an endangered species in 1967, in particular because of the disappearance of forests constituting its habitat, but also because of collectors. The date on which specialists agree that he was last seen is April 1944, in northeast Louisiana. These 23 species were classified as endangered too late to be saved, according to the authorities. They also include eleven species from Hawaii and the island of Guam, including several birds, and one species of bat. Animals living on islands are more easily threatened with extinction due to their isolation. Hawaii and the Pacific Islands have more than 650 endangered plant and animal species, more than any other state in the United States. Many do not exist anywhere else in the world.