Our Amazing Animals Make a Comeback 

Staff Writer: Olivia O’Connor 

There are over millions of different species of animals on our amazing planet Earth. Many are extinct, endangered, vulnerable, and threatened. This is caused by habitat loss, shortage of food or water, and humans. However, there are some animals that are making a comeback and fighting to survive to make sure that their next generation has a chance. 

One tiny little mammal making its way back in the Northern Great Plains is the Black-footed ferret. Before the 1800’s, black-footed ferrets were in the tens of thousands but are now critically endangered creatures that were almost extinct in the wild due to their main prey species, the prairie dog, becoming scarce because of habitat loss and non-native disease. The World Wildlife Fund organization states, “Today, recovery efforts have helped restore black-footed ferrets to around 300 animals across North America; the goal is to reach 3,000. Their recovery in the wild signifies the health of the grassland ecosystem which they depend on to survive.” 

A black-footed ferret peeks out to say cheese from an old prairie dog hole. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks & Wildlife

Another amazing animal making a comeback is the Humpback whale. These beautiful giants were listed as endangered by the U.S. government in 1970. Due to commercial whaling their numbers significantly declined. However, GreenMatters states, “…the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) informed the public in 2016, that nine of those populations have recovered so well that they no longer require protection under the U.S. endangered Species Act, though they’ll still be covered under the marine Mammal Protection Act.” Today commercial whaling has been banned, allowing populations to rise. 

A mother Humpback and her calf swim peacefully in the deep, blue ocean. Photo Credit: Ed Lyman/NOAA 

An additional animal making a comeback is the Pemba flying fox. These fruit bats live on Pemba Island near Tanzania. In the 1990’s the species was close to extinction due to deforestation leaving them without shelter and their food supply, mangoes, and figs. However, conservation efforts have been implemented by the Forestry Department on Pemba. Some examples include education campaigns, wildlife clubs to protect their habitat, and ongoing monitoring of the species population. An article from InHabit states, “Following conservation efforts that began in 1995, the species made a significant recovery which resulted in the last few hundred bats expanding to over 20,000.”  

Pemba Flying fox snuggles with her baby during a rain shower. Photo credit: One Earth 

Because of these amazing organizations doing their best to help these species recover, their populations have risen to safe numbers. Soon these animals might not even be considered vulnerable or endangered and it is all thanks to animal-loving people. I have asked people around the school what their favorite animal is and Kayla Nixon, a junior at Woodstock High School, said, “My favorite animal is a dolphin because they’re majestic and the sea version of puppies.” Nadia Siko, another junior at Woodstock High School, said, “My favorite animal is an elephant because they are like giant teddy bears. I really want one of my own.”  

There are many people around the world that care for our incredible creatures and that want to help those that are unprotected. You could do your part by joining clubs, campaigns, or donating money to organizations that support the growth and conservation of species’ populations.  

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