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Off the List

There are 935 animals and plants on the U.S. Endangered Species List and 266 listed as threatened. The list includes a lot of critters and plants few of us have ever encountered. For example, there are 18 endangered crustaceans; 24 endangered ferns.

There are 63 mammals, 76 birds, 14 reptiles, 10 amphibians, 69 fishes, 61 clams, 20 snails, 18 crustaceans, 30 insects, and 6 spiders. On the plant side, the U.S. list includes 2 conifers/ cycads, 24 ferns and allies, and 2 lichens.

But there are those that everybody knows about, like our national symbol, the bald eagle. The eagle was placed on the initial Endangered Species List in 1967. In 1995, the bald eagle’s status was improved to "threatened." Today, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has proposed delisting the birds and the review process is under way.

Another well-known success story is the American alligator, listed in 1967, and removed twenty years later. Its cousin, the American crocodile, remains endangered.

According to the FWS, the following once-endangered U.S. species are considered recovered:

  • BROWN PELICAN The bird, whose plight was made famous in a best-selling novel – "The Pelican Brief" by John Grisham – was delisted in 1985.
  • AMERICAN ALLIGATOR Delisted in 1987.
  • RYDBERG MILK-VETCH This flowering plant in the pea family was delisted in 1989.
  • GRAY WHALE The eastern North Pacific population was delisted in 1994.
  • AMERICAN PEREGRINE FALCON This fierce hunter was removed from list just last year, Aug. 25, 1999. The Arctic Peregrine Falcon, once considered threatened, was removed from the list in 1994.


A number of U.S. species have been removed from the list over the years due to scientific revisions. More sad, however, are the ones that have been taken off the list because they are now believed to be extinct.

  • TECOPA PUPFISH A fish once found in California. Listed extinct in 1982.
  • LONGJAW CISCO A fish once found in Lakes Michigan, Huron and Eric. Listed extinct in 1983.
  • BLUE PIKE A fish once found in Lakes Erie and Ontario. Listed extinct in 1983.
  • SANTA BARBARA SONG SPARROW A bird once found in California. Listed extinct in 1983.
  • SAMPSON’S PEARLY MUSSEL An invertebrate (mollusk) once found in Illinois and Indiana. Listed extinct in 1984.
  • AMISTAD GAMBUSIA An insect-eating fish once found in Texas. Listed extinct in 1987.
  • DUSKY SEASIDE SPARROW A small bird once found in Florida and one of the most publicized recent examples of extinction. Listed extinct in 1990.

Read more: http://ecos.fws.gov/tess/html/boxscore.html


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