From the verge of extinction

Several species to be removed from endangered list in the us

Published: Thursday 30 September 1999

 The peregrine falcon has been the us government has disclosed its intention to remove some bird and animal species that were on the endangered list. The bald eagle, Aleutian Canada goose and the peregrine falcon have been removed from the list, pending a brief period of public comment. The White House has also announced that it had bought land adjacent to the Yellowstone National Park to provide critical winter range for the fragile bison herd. Yellowstone's bisons, are not officially listed as endangered, but they are clearly in trouble. In the harsh winters, bisons descend from Yellowstone's high plateau and wander peacefully across park boundaries in search of food. But, because some bison carry a disease called brucellosis, which is potentially dangerous to cattle, they are routinely captured and shot. In 1997, the Montana department of livestock killed 1,000 bisons, nearly one-third of Yellowstone's herd though nobody stopped to check which animals were carrying the disease.

The peregrine falcon is only the sixth species to warrant de-listing since the passage of the Endangered Species Act, 1973, leaving about 1,200 plant and animal species on the list. In 1970, only 39 breeding pairs existed in the entire country. There are now more than 1,650 pairs.

Unfortunately, the Congress till now, has been indifferent to nature and many are yet to see the value of the federal programmes that have helped the falcon and the bison. President Clinton's request, for a modest us $80 million for innovative public-private partnerships, to preserve the habitat for endangered species has been slashed by 80 per cent by House and the Senate appropriations committees.

Considering these financial hurdles, one can conclude this has been a positive summer for several bird and animal species that were once driven to the brink of extinction.

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