Target: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Regional Director Richard Hannan
Goal: Applaud efforts that saved the Oregon chub from the brink of extinction.
The Oregon chub recently became the first fish officially removed from the Endangered Species List, proving that our protections for endangered animals can have a serious impact on the future of at-risk species. The return of the three-inch-long minnow provides hope for the survival of many other animals and grants great insights into proven methods of revival.
The chub were listed as endangered in 1993 when their population plummeted due to 150 years of draining the beaver ponds and swampy backwaters in the Willamette Valley in which the chub lived. With a greatly diminished and drastically changed habitat, the minnow became an easy target for animals like bullfrogs and bass, which were not native to the chub’s waters. There are currently an estimated 140,000 Oregon chub in 80 wildlife refuges throughout the state—only five years after the minnow were classified as a threatened species.
Working with landowners in the chub’s natural habitat, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) rehabilitated the swamps and ponds where the fish once thrived, transplanting some. The FWS also altered dam releases to mirror a natural river flow and protected the minnow from predators. The concentrated efforts clearly paid off, and 22 years after the species was listed as endangered, it was officially delisted.
Many landowners have even signed safe harbor agreements with the FWS, promising not to fill in any ponds where the fish are found or to poison the fish in any way. Continued commitment to the survival of the Oregon chub is dependent on the FWS and landowners that made its recovery possible in the first place.
Sign this petition and applaud the revival of the Oregon chub from the brink of extinction and commend the many people who made its recovery possible.
Dear Mr. Hannan,
Thanks to the committed efforts of the Fish and Wildlife Service and the many caring landowners who agreed to participate, the Oregon chub will be officially removed from the endangered species list. Not only was the rescue of this species an impressive feat, but the minnow’s delisting lends credence to the methods used to revive it. With protection from predators and further habitat destruction, many more species may be pulled back from the brink of extinction.
Saving even a three-inch-long fish from disappearing from the planet altogether is cause for hope. No creature is unimportant where the Earth’s future is concerned.
I applaud the impressive efforts that led to the survival of the Oregon chub.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: USFWS – Pacific Region via Flickr