Wildlife Protection and Recovery Gains

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Illustration by MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
Although helping endangered species is important, wildlife protection rightly extends beyond them to common critters like hummingbirds.

Thanks to a comeback, the Bahamian swallowtail butterfly has been dropped from the EPA’s endangered species list. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay has witnessed the reappearance of a crustacean that supposedly disappeared 40 years ago: The Mexican saber crab was recently spotted in the nearby Alafia River.

In Ocean Springs, Mississippi, the sandhill crane is also enjoying a small but steady resurgence in a 17,000-acre, federally protected refuge. A few years ago there were thought to be only 30 surviving sandhill cranes, but last year the flock had increased to more than 50.

In Minnesota, the country’s largest manufacturer of electric fences is doing its part for wildlife protection by redesigning its product. The fences are dangerous to hummingbirds because they often mistake the fence’s small red plastic insulators for flowers, and are electrocuted when they try to extract nectar. Albert Berg, chairman of the board for North Central Plastics, said that the style and color of the insulators will be changed. The company advises farmers who have fences with the old insulators to paint the insulators another color.