As the world changes, so do its roster of creatures, with some sadly finding themselves on the brink of extinction. Fortunately, mankind has been vigilant enough to push efforts to save certain species – and succeeded in several. Here are some of the creatures that have once been declared endangered but have now been revived. We name five.
Like many fellow birds, the peregrine falcon became an endangered species prior to the restriction of the poison DDT. DDT is an insecticide that was identified as the primary culprit for the decimation of certain bird varieties. This poison weakened the calcium content of eggs and, as a result, the percentage of falcons that survived until they hatched had decreased dramatically.
According to The Dodo, since pesticides are more closely regulated now and some groups have pooled efforts to support captive breeding — and have done so successfully — the peregrine falcon was no longer an endangered species in 1999. Falcons bred in captivity are fed through a chute or a peregrine hand puppet so that the chicks will not get used to human interaction and become dependent. The falcon chicks are weaned over time and are taught to hunt for themselves. When they learn this skill, they get released into the wild.
Indian rhinos were once numerous in the northern part of the Indian sub-continent. However, by 1975, only 600 of them remained. Fortunately, through conservation and repopulation efforts, their numbers bounced back to 3,000 by 2012.
Nepal is now home to around 645 rhinos. Poachers are still the animal’s greatest threat. As the years progressed, efforts against poachers have evolved to meet demands and anti-poaching programs have kept the entire population of rhinos safe for three years straight, says the World Wildlife Fund in an online statement on February 6, 2016.
God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages. -Jacques Deval
Alligators were originally numerous but their numbers shrunk drastically when people hunted them down for leather. In the 1960s, their entire population was almost wiped out. Fortunately, people woke up to the reality that these creatures might be gone for good soon and, later, the American Congress enacted the Endangered Species Preservation Act. This was passed just in time before they became extinct for good. Because of this, hunting ceased and conservation efforts got their numbers growing again.
Within 20 years, the alligator was removed from the list of endangered species and is considered one of the greatest stories for conservation. There are now millions of alligators throughout the Southeastern US. In fact, some households in the area get visited by one in their backyards from time to time.
Habitat loss and poaching have taken a heavy toll on the population of tigers in the previous century. Their population has gone down from over 100,000 to just 3,000. The tiger was once native to 23 countries in Asia. However, they can now only be found in 11 and have disappeared entirely from Cambodia and Vietnam.
In response, governments joined forces to revive the tiger population. This came in through tracking their numbers and deterring poachers. In a recent wild tiger census in India, a promising increase was shown as well as in other protected areas.
This species of horse has never been domesticated and its population has drastically declined because of habitat loss and human interference. They became so rare that the last sighting of a Przewalski’s horse in the wild was in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia way back in 1969.
This became very tough to revive its population. However, their species has shown a big win and had endured a long road to recovery. They were down to the last 15 of their kind in the 1970s and there are now more than 400 of them in the wild today, with another 1,500 still in captivity. While repopulating efforts have proven successful in Kazakhstan, China and Mongolia, there are still some challenges including inbreeding.
While human activity and habitat loss can prove to be a great threat to some species, these animals show that their populations can rise from almost hitting zero. Conservation efforts can make a big difference for species that are endangered and threatened. People can make a big difference by protecting them and helping their populations grow.