The loss of the species was hailed by many as a consequence of human population growth and the attendant loss of natural habitats and growth in pollution, as well as the climate crisis.
But the move was also questioned by some experts who say it’s too soon to remove the protections that come with the endangered designation. And it is possible that some of the species could still pop up again, like the biblical Lazarus, rising from the dead.
The announcement kicks off a 60-day comment period before the species status changes become final. Wildlife officials citing the extinctions also said they would resume criminal enforcement of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to punish companies responsible for preventable bird deaths. Prosecutions ceased for several years under President Donald Trump.