Sunday, 6 April 2014

Island night lizard: Another protected species back from the brink (+video)

The island night lizard was delisted as an endangered species in the US this week, after three decades of restoration efforts. Its recovery highlights an increased success rate in reestablishing endangered species. 

By Noelle Swan, Staff writer / April 4, 2014

The island night lizard is back from the brink of extinction.

After three decades of restoration efforts, the US Fish and Wildlife Service removed the small lizard from the endangered species list Monday.

The mottled lizard is a small, omnivorous reptile found only on three of California’s Channel Islands. The FWS listed the species as endangered back in 1977, because invasive herbivores had decimated the islands’ vegetation that the lizards relied upon for shelter. In 1984, the FWS partnered with the National Parks Service, which owns Santa Barbara Island, and the US Navy, which owns San Clemente Island and San Nicolas Island, to remove the invasive species and replenish the islands’ vegetation.

The FWS currently lists more than 1,500 different species of plants and animals as protected under theEndangered Species Act of 1973.

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