Modoc_suckerThere is nothing better than an endangered species success story to show you we can still make a difference and undue damage to our marine life. Yesterday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the removal of the Modoc Sucker from protection under the Endangered Species Act. The Modoc Sucker,a greenish-brown, three-inch long fish, is native to the Pit River basin in southern Oregon and northeastern California. The species has been on the endangered species list since 1985, due to cattle grazing causing pollution of the waterways and non-invasive species threatening the Modoc Sucker’s habitat. in 1985, the Modoc Suckers population was estimated at 1300 fish. This is only the second fish ever removed from the endangered species act.The recovery of the fish is attributed to habitat restoration, including the removal of invasive fish and keeping livestock away from the tributaries. Currently, the population is now doubled, and is estimated at over 2600 fish. “The Endangered Species Act successfully prevented the extinction of the Modoc sucker and spurred habitat restoration that has allowed this native fish to recover,” said Jeff Miller with the Center for Biological Diversity. “By reducing impacts from cattle grazing and ending stocking of invasive fish, management agencies and landowners have allowed suckers to repopulate former habitats in the Pit River and Goose Lake watersheds.” The Fish and Wildlife Service will monitor the Modoc Sucker population for the next 10 years, to ensure the population remains stable. MORE

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