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A Talk on the Wild Side.

Endangered Species Act Moments in 2015 Worth Revisiting

greater sage-grouse
A greater sage-grouse male struts at a lek (dancing or mating ground) to attract a mate. One of the largest conservation efforts in U.S. history benefits the greater sage-grouse. Photo by Jeannie Stafford/USFWS

The Endangered Species Act shone in 2015, helping threatened and endangered species across the globe. These milestones reaffirm both the importance of the act and our commitment to working with partners to conserve imperiled animals, plants and their habitats.

Notable Delistings - Species Making a Comeback

Recovery of the Delmarva Fox Squirrel
After more than 40 years of federal protection, this resident of the Delmarva Peninsula was successfully recovered and removed from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife! It was one of the first species listed in 1967 under the precursor to the Endangered Species Act, and thanks to the dedication of numerous partners to conserve this animal and its habitat, the population is thriving. 

An Oregon chub swims at William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge in Corvallis, Oregon. Photo by Rick Swart, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Recovery of the Oregon Chub and Modoc Sucker

This year saw the first two fish removed from Endangered Species Act protection due to recovery! Now populations of the Modoc Sucker and Oregon Chub are no longer at risk of extinction.

Working Together For Wildlife

Landmark Conservation Collaboration for Sage Grouse

If you didn’t know it, 2015 hosted one of the largest conservation efforts in U.S. history. As a result, the greater sage-grouse does not require protection under the Endangered Species Act. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Service Director Dan Ashe, four western governors and multiple partners celebrated the success of 11 western states, federal agencies, private landowners and industry in securing the future of the greater sage-grouse and its unique sagebrush habitat. We also made announcements of numerous other species that will not need Endangered Species Act protection due to proactive conservation efforts.   

Citizen Science Engagement Around Endangered Species
We teamed up with FishBrain – the world's largest free-to-use app and social network for anglers – to launch a new feature of the app that will help the American public identify and document threatened, endangered, and candidate species.  

red-cockaded woodpecker
Red-cockaded woodpeckers have been big beneficiaries of Safe Harbor Agreements. Photo by Eric Spadgenske/USFWS

20th Anniversary of the Safe Harbor Program
We, along with our partners, celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first-ever Safe Harbor Agreement, created in 1995 to protect the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. That first agreement not only helped turn around the fortunes of the red-cockaded woodpecker in North Carolina and other states, but also heralded in an era of proactive collaboration between private landowners, states and federal agencies under the Endangered Species Act to conserve America's most imperiled wildlife.

Listing Species That Need Our Protection

Lions Protected Under Endangered Species Act
Lions across the globe were protected under the Endangered Species Act. In addition to listing lions as threatened and endangered, Director Ashe issued an order prohibiting those that violate wildlife laws from getting permits for wildlife-related activities, including sport-hunted trophies.

Mother and baby chimp climbing in tree. The baby is touching its mother's chin.
Chimpanzees Bahati and her baby Baroza at Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Credit: © the Jane Goodall Institute

All Chimpanzees Were Given Endangered Species Act Protection
Both wild and captive chimpanzees were given Endangered Species Act protection, a globally significant decision that was lauded by conservation hero Dr. Jane Goodall herself.  

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