The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service just announced it plans to remove 23 species from the Endangered Species Act due to extinction. Among the list is a rare type of fish that was seemingly only found in one area of Ohio.
The Scioto Madtom was last sighted by humans back in 1957. The fish was added to the endangered species list in 1975.
The fish was only ever spotted in a section of Big Darby Creek in Ohio. Due to the animal’s habit of hiding under rocks or in vegetation during the day and only coming out at night, the Scioto madtom was an elusive fish.
It is believed that the species’ decline was caused by “industrial discharge into waterways and agricultural runoff,” although the FWS says the exact cause is unknown.
In the press release detailing all 23 species removed from the list, Secretary Deb Haaland said, “With climate change and natural area loss pushing more and more species to the brink, now is the time to lift up proactive, collaborative, and innovative efforts to save America’s wildlife.
The Endangered Species Act has been incredibly effective at preventing species from going extinct and has also inspired action to conserve at-risk species and their habitat before they need to be listed as endangered or threatened.