Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Lists and status reports appearing in this document were prepared for a 1994 report and may not be current. Refer to http://endangered.fws.gov/ for current listing and status information.
Over the two-century period preceding the passage of the Endangered Species Act, scientists estimate that over 500 species slipped to extinction in the Unites States, most due to habitat loss. In the 21 years since the passage of the Endangered Species Act, 909 species have been determined to be either endangered or threatened, and, for all but 7, their extinction has been prevented. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been tasked to first stabilize and then recover these species by securing their populations, reversing their declines, and bringing them back to a point where the protections of the Act are no longer needed.
This 1994 report to Congress chronicles the success of the Service's efforts to recover these species. A good case study, representing the success of the Service's recovery efforts is the conservation of the bald eagle, our national symbol. Based on historical information available, these birds nested throughout the United States. In 1967, bald eagle numbers in the lower 48 States had dropped to approximately 417 nesting pairs. Population declines were attributed to habitat loss, illegal shooting, and the effects of DDT (a widely used insecticide) on reproductive success. In 26 years, the eagle rebounded to more than 4,000 nesting pairs in 1993. Additionally, scientists estimate that 5,000 to 6,000 juvenile bald eagles dwell in the lower 48 States. This success was due to reintroductions, the banning of DDT, public awareness campaigns, aggressive law enforcement, and other actions involving the Service, States, private organizations, and the cooperation of the American public. As a result, on July 12, 1994, the Service proposed to reclassify the bald eagle from endangered to threatened in all of the lower 48 States.
The Secretary of the Interior
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1994. Recovery program: Endangered and threatened species. U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C. 63pp.This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1994. Recovery program: Endangered and threatened species. U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C. Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/wildlife/recovprg/index.htm (Version 16JUL97).
The Road to Recovery, full-color poster, depicts some of the progress being made in the effort to restore vulnerable wildlife. It features six threatened or endangered animals and plants—from the bald eagle to the western prairie fringed orchid—that are now stable or even improving in status. Illustrations for the poster were produced by artist Dorothy Michele Novick, who passed away in 1994. They were her last work. Through this poster and other illustrations she produced for the Service, Ms. Novick made lasting contributions to the conservation of our nation's wildlife resources.