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Happy Monday, News Viewers, and welcome to Free Range, our environmentally focused open thread where the topics are wide ranging and the conversation free flowing. Our focus is the earth we inhabit, the space above and the oceans below, and all the living and non-living entities surrounding. . . In other words, anything goes (within reason) and everything stays (also within reason😊)

Since we’re closing in on the end of 2021, now is the time to look at the animals who were declared extinct this year.

We live in an age of accelerated extinction.

Today’s rate of extinctions — driven by a quintuple-whammy of destroyed wildernessexploited crittersinvasive speciesrapid climate change, and widespread pollution — are happening “at least tens to hundreds of times higher” than extinctions occurred over the past 10 million years, the UN concluded in a major 2019 report.

Since the 1500s, at least 680 vertebrate species have permanently disappeared from Earth. And in the relatively short-lived history of the United States, biologists have declared 150 animals and plants extinct here, though the true number is likely hundreds more.

In 2021, extinctions loomed large in the U.S. This September, the Fish and Wildlife Service declared that 23 species, some not seen in decades, had gone extinct and should be taken off the nation’s endangered species list. Many of these losses, in the globe’s wealthiest nation, weren’t inevitable. Neither are future losses.

The 2021 List:

  1. Bachman’s warbler: Last seen in 1988
  2. Bridled white-eye: Last seen in 1983
  3. Flat pigtoe mussel: Last 7seen in 1984
  4. Green-blossom pearly mussel: Last seen in 1982
  5. Ivory-billed woodpecker: Last seen in 1944
  6. Kaua’i ‘akialoa: Last seen in 1969
  7. Kaua’i nukupu’u: Last seen in 1899
  8. Kaua’i ‘ō’ō: Last seen in 1987
  9. Large Kauai thrush: Last seen in 1987
  10. Little Mariana fruit bat: Last seen in 1968
  11. Maui ākepa: Last seen in 1988
  12. Maui nukupu’u: Last seen in 1996
  13. Molokai creeper: Last seen in 19633+m
  14. Phyllostegia glabra var. Lanaiensis: Last seen in 1914
  15. Po’ouli: Last seen in 2004
  16. San Marcos gambusia: Last seen in 1983
  17. Scioto madtom: Last seen in 1957
  18. Southern acornshell mussel: Last seen in 1973
  19. Stirrupshell mussel: Last seen in 1986
  20. Tubercled-blossom pearly mussel: Last seen in 1969
  21. Turgid-blossom pearly mussel: Last seen in 1972
  22. Upland combshell mussel: Last seen in the mid-1980s
  23. Yellow-blossom pearly mussel: Last seen in the 1980s

There are natural causes for extinction but most are caused by humans encroaching or interfering in some way. And sadly, the theories that humanity itself is bound for extinction point to the same cause, humans. A self annihilation. And with conservation, most extinctions are preventable, so maybe we can save endangered species including humans.

What are your thoughts about it? And fill us in — what’s happening in your neck of the woods?


Source: Mashable and CNN