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Florida lost two species to extinction, a proposed federal report says

Scientists say climate change threatens to make extinctions more common as it adds to the pressures facing imperiled species.
Credit: AP
This undated still image taken from video and provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology shows an ivory-billed woodpecker. The U.S. government is declaring the ivory-billed woodpecker and 22 more birds, fish and other species extinct. (Cornell Lab of Ornithology via AP)

FLORIDA, USA — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sent a proposal on Wednesday that would remove dozens of species from the endangered list - not because of any success in protecting the species, but because they are now considered extinct. In Florida, that means the end of two feathered friends. 

It’s a rare move for wildlife officials to give up hope on a plant or animal. But scientists say climate change threatens to make extinctions more common as it adds to the pressures facing imperiled species.

The factors behind this latest and largest batch of extinctions range from urbanization to water pollution and logging. In each extinction, humans were the ultimate cause.

Bachman's warbler was one of the Florida birds that have gone extinct. The small migratory bird once populated the swamps of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the warbler was last seen in 1988 but was ultimately lost due to habitat destruction.

The Ivory-billed woodpecker is another Florida bird that made the list. It is the third-largest woodpecker in the world and at one point flew in nearly 13 states. Logging reduced the woodpecker's habitat. The last verified sighting was in 1944, the Center for Biological Diversity said. 

Credit: AP
An ivory-billed woodpecker specimen is on a display at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. Death's come knocking a last time for the splendid ivory-billed woodpecker and 22 assorted birds, fish and other species: The U.S. government is declaring them extinct. It's a rare move for wildlife officials to give up hope on a plant or animal, but government scientists say they've exhausted efforts to find these 23. (AP Photo/Haven Daley)

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In total, 22 species from across 19 states were removed from the endangered species list because of extinction.