TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A native Florida bird was among 21 species declared extinct and delisted from the Endangered Species Act by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Monday.
“Our determinations of whether the best available information indicates that a species is extinct included an analysis of the following criteria: detectability of the species, adequacy of survey efforts, and time since last detection,” the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said.
The Bachman’s warbler, a black and yellow songbird found in Florida and South Carolina, was the rarest native songbird in the U.S. It was listed on the endangered species list in 1967 and last seen in the 1980s.
Wildlife officials said the bird could also be spotted in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, little is known about the songbird. Officials said the bird was mostly found in Monroe and Miami-Dade counties.
The Center for Biological Diversity said the Bachman’s warbler was lost to habitat destruction. FWC officials said collisions with lighthouses were listed as a threat to the species during the late 1800s.
The 20 other species labeled extinct by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service included nine other birds, a bat, a fish and several mussels.
In 2021, officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife proposed taking the species off the endangered and threatened list as many of them had not been seen in at least 19 years.
The Center for Biological Diversity said the 21 species join the list of 650 that have been likely lost to extinction.
“My heart breaks over the loss of these 21 species,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “These plants and animals can never be brought back. We absolutely must do everything we can to avert the loss of even more threads in our web of life.”