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5 Species That Made a Comeback in 2012

5 Species That Made a Comeback in 2012
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Almost a year ago, I was looking back on 2011 and considering some of the species we had lost. Now as we contemplate the completion of another year, I thought it might be nice to see what we’ve managed to save. Are there species which, through the efforts of dedicated conservationists, have been able to come back from the brink?

As before, my source is the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, which keeps track of conservation status for all our planet’s previously and currently threatened species. The IUCN Red List is updated regularly, with species statuses ranging from least concern (species that are doing well) to critically endangered (about to disappear), and even extinct.

Poring through the summary table for species status category changes, I’ve sought out species that have become more plentiful and stable over the course of 2012. If you look for it, it seems there is a little good news out there to be found.

The Steller sea lion, which was critically endangered, has now had its threat level downgraded to near threatened, the lowest category of danger (other than least concern). The attractive marine creature is found primarily in Northern seas, and in greater numbers today than the same time last year.

It’s true, we tend to be more interested in our mammal cousins than more distant taxa. There’s a reason tigers and panda bears are the poster children for conservation efforts, though I don’t know if it’s the soft fur or mammary glands. Whatever the reason, to all you nipple-bearers out there: this one’s for you.

Steller sea lions are more plentiful than last year. (Photo credit: Kevin Bell – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.)

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Photo credit: Kevin Bell - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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143 comments

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1:24PM PDT on Apr 30, 2013

great news

1:01AM PDT on Mar 21, 2013

so good to have positive news!

1:35PM PST on Feb 24, 2013

Good news?

5:56PM PST on Feb 18, 2013

As a wildlife professional dealing with declining and biologically endangered species, I am so heartened to hear some good news of partial recovery. We have the opportunity to save very few of a species and the amount of effort required to make it happen on a small scale is unbelievable. Thank-you for posting some good news.

2:30PM PST on Feb 15, 2013

Thank you for the positve article!

10:16AM PST on Jan 17, 2013

Good news.

1:47PM PST on Jan 14, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

6:06PM PST on Jan 9, 2013

Love hearing some good news!

10:23AM PST on Jan 9, 2013

Thanks for the good news.

11:47PM PST on Jan 8, 2013

Lets not jump up and down just yet, for these 5 recovering species we will have at least a hundred that became endangered during this period. We have to continue to be vigilant and do more.

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