Endangered species making a comeback

By Nicola Mills | August 21 2018

Endangered species making a comeback

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    Globally, countless species have been ravaged, reduced, or even destroyed entirely by unscrupulous people and ceaseless human activity. Many species that once thrived have all gone extinct during humanity’s time on Earth, with some being as a direct result of our actions, and others being due to natural causes.

    Despite this, many kinds of animal once thought eradicated or on the brink of extinction are now thriving thanks to conservationists. Whilst there is still progress to be made in ensuring the future survival of these species in to the far future, they are at least on the road to recovery.

    Because of the modern reality of the state of the planet, we hear many bad things about humanity, the damage we have caused as a race, and the cruel and evil acts of individuals. Environmental catastrophes and crimes are all too frequent. So here is a small reminder of the good humanity can and does to make up for the damage we have caused. Here are some species of animal that some courageous and caring people saved from being confined the annals of history.

    The Arabian Oryx

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    The iconic Arabian Oryx was on the brink of extinction in 1970s and was gone from several Middle Eastern nations. However, their fortunes have reversed thanks reservationists who saved the Arabian oryx by breeding the few left in zoos and on reserves, eventually reintroducing the animal into the wild.

    It is a dramatically different story for them today, with their levels away above the threshold for endangered status, and in 2011 they were upgraded to vulnerable, with 1,220 known wild Oryxes that year, with thousands more in captivity, a marked improvement.

    The Giant Panda

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    This famously cuddly, and notoriously nearly-celibate, bear has been at crisis levels for several years. The last census of wild Giant Pandas, carried out in 2014, found that there were approximately 1,864 alive Giant Pandas – plus there are many others in captivity across the world. This is a low enough number to class them as ‘vulnerable’, but it is a big improvement from just a few decades ago. Numbers were languishing at just under 1,000 in the late 1970s, whilst In the past decade alone, the number of Giant Pandas in the world has risen by 17%.

    The Steller Sea Lion

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    It’s not quite clear to scientists why, but Steller Sea Lion populations reached such a low point in the 1980s and 90s that the species was classified as endangered and given special protection. This action allowed the population of this beautiful animal to grow by 300% in some areas. In 1979, a population of around 18,000 Steller sea lions were found in the eastern region of their traditional habitat. A later population count was performed in 2010, in exactly the same area, and it was found that there were 70,000 Steller sea lions. Endangered status was removed for the Western population in 2013.

    The Echo Parakeet

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    This stunning bird, found uniquely on the island of Mauritius, was down to a wild population of just a dozen in the 1980s. The population had been decimated by the ravaging, exploitation, and destruction of the forests in which they had once thrived. However, there are now hundreds of wild Echo Parakeets as the result of a successful rescue and conservation programme, that included captive breeding, the construction of nest boxes, and the provision of food for those in the wild.

    Large Blue Butterfly

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    In 1979, the Large Blue Butterfly was declared an extinct species in Britain, and yet today the butterfly can be found in many parts of South-Western England. Through hard work and a good conservation programme, conservationists were able to bring back the large blue butterfly from extinction in the UK, and near extinction elsewhere. They reintroduced the creature from reserves located around Europe with hope to build their numbers, and to great success.

    The Tasmanian Devil

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    In 1990, a facial tumour spread dramatically across the species of this carnivorous marsupial, found only in the wild on the Australian island of Tasmania. The highly contagious cancer deforms the face and makes it very difficult to eat, and decimated the population. However, a very recent breakthrough by scientists developed a treatment that enables the immune system of Tasmanian Devil to fight the cancer and it is hoped that this will be used to save the remaining population and kickstart a recovery.

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Nicola Mills