Over the last five decades Planet Earth faced one of the biggest crisis in its modern history. More than 60% of animal population has wiped out including mammals, birds, fishes or reptiles. But while wildlife experts are calling it Earth’s sixth mass extinction, apparently there are still some good news to come. Some of them are the reappearance of some species that have declared extinct many many years ago. Among them the rare Guam Rail bird.
60 percent of animal population wiped out in 44 years by human activity: WWF https://t.co/loQWDZbDGc pic.twitter.com/5DJwcgx4pJ
— Hindustan Times (@htTweets) October 30, 2018
The Guam Rail – native to the island of Guam – a very small 212-square-mile island located in the Pacific Ocean, went extinct in the 50s, after a snake species (the brown tree snake) has accidentally been brought on the tiny island. The bird was ultimately declared ‘extinct in the wild,’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, after no individual remained in its natural habitat. However, 21 Rails left in captivity all over the world. Paradoxical captivity helped the species to survive.
Now, four decades after its extinction over 200 of the rare birds got the chance to return in the wild. However, they wouldn’t go on their original habitat, but to a nearby snake-free island. All thanks to a very successfully breeding program meant to save the species.
The Guam Rail is the second bird in history to recover after being declared Extinct in the Wild.
A captive breeding program was behind the recovery but the flightless bird remains critically endangered. https://t.co/irhRMeMsI2 #ConservationWorks pic.twitter.com/rEI5o5oFjf
— IUCN (@IUCN) April 25, 2020
Among the Guam rail bird, other nine special – seven birds and two fishes got their status upgraded on the IUCN’s 2019 red list. “[The news] offers a spark of hope in the midst of the biodiversity crisis,” IUCN acting director, Grethel Aguilar said. “It also proves nature will recover if given half a chance.”
According to the team responsible for the breeding program “the Guam Rail (Hypotaenidia owstoni) is only the second bird in history to come back from being declared Extinct in the Wild – the first being the California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus) in the late 1980s.”