A beautiful black and white woodpecker with a long beak and a bunch of red feathers on its head has been declared missing in the US, the country’s authorities announced.
The Beak Woodpecker, a bird found mainly in the southeast, in the marshy region of the United States, was the most prominent of the declared extinct species, along with 22 birds, fish, and other species.
Other species, such as the flat shell, a freshwater mussel, also found in the southeast, have been rarely observed and considered extinct, although it was put on the endangered species list years ago.
It is rare for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to declare an endangered species after the reported sightings of the woodpecker in previous years gave hope to bird watchers.
The agency announced on its website that it is ready to implement a recovery plan if this bird is ever seen again. But if nothing is reported in the next three months, the “missing” tag becomes permanent. It is also thought that this species of bird, or a very close species, may still exist in Cuba.
The factors behind the 23 disappearances have all been human-related. Water pollution, development, logging, competition from invasive species caused by human travel, birds killed for feathers or animals caught by private collectors were all factors that have led to the extinction of the species.
A study in 2019 and reported in the journal Science, found that the number of birds in the US and Canada, estimated at about 10 billion in 1970, had dropped by 29 percent to about 7.2 billion, while this study also came blame on habitat extinction.
Today’s statement marks the largest number of species ever declared extinct at the same time.
Since the Endangered Species Act was signed into US law in the 1960s, only 11 species have been officially declared “extinct.”AA
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