The US Fish & Wildlife Service has announced that they will be removing the name of Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel from the list of endangered species next month. Such an announcement was expected from the American organization from quite some time.
For those who don’t know: the above-mentioned squirrel species was among the 78 species listed under the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1967, which was turned into law in the year 1973. The Endangered Species Preservation Act is basically the predecessor of the current Endangered Species Act.
With their 15 inches long body (measured without the tail), the Delmarva fox squirrels are notably bigger than all other species of squirrel identified to date. That’s not all; unlike the majority of the more widely known squirrel species, the Delmarva fox squirrels are usually not seen in suburban and urban environments. They prefer living in rural territories, agricultural fields, and forested lands.
They have been named Delmarva fox squirrels as there was a time when the Delmarva ( a name derived from three US states Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia) Peninsula was quite densely populated by these animals. However, during the mid-twentieth century the animal became almost extinct due to hunting and forest clearing for agriculture, timber harvesting, and development.
Things started to change a few decades back, and now, the number of these animals has become so robust that the FWS has decided to remove its name from the list of endangered species. According to the US agency, after getting listed, the squirrel started increasing its range from 4 to 10 countries. According to recently obtained numbers, our planet is at present home to around 20,000 Delmarva fox squirrels. The officials are saying that the country’s Endangered Species Act is primarily responsible for the revival of this squirrel species.
Michael Bean, the principal deputy assistant secretary of the US Department of the Interior for FWS, said that the act presents incentives and flexibility for building partnerships with private landowners and states for helping recover species and supporting local economic activities. He praised the three states Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia and all the partners who joined hands to work for the revival of the endangered squirrel species.