Endangered Species Act Turns 40 - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Endangered Species Act Turns 40

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The Endangered Species Act turns 40 this month.

It's responsible for saving hundreds of animals from becoming extinct.

Now, there are six animal and plant species in North Dakota still listed as endangered or threatened.

"We've got the Mexican wolves, the gray wolves..."

Mexican Wolves are one of the more rare species of animals in the world.

"Less than four hundred of them in the world, 75 to 100 in the wild."

There is a handful here at the Dakota Zoo in Bismarck, but there have also been endangered and threatened species here that are native to North Dakota.

"We have a variety of animals that are either threatened or endangered and some are local such as our black-footed ferrets." says Rod Fried, Dakota Zoo Assistant Director.

From the black-footed ferret to the majestic bald eagle, the Endangered Species Act is in place to protect all animals.

"It's helped protect a lot of species such as the bald eagles, there was pesticide to some of our birds, the chicks weren't able to hatch, corrected that, numbers are coming back." says Fried.

Since being placed on the Endangered list decades ago, the bald eagle was removed from the endangered or threatened list due to a rebound in its population.

"I think the bald eagle is a great story, we ran into really low numbers and with a lot of agencies and different groups working together, the numbers have come back, it's great to go along the river and see more bald eagles." says Fried.

He's hoping for more stories like that.

By working with a specie survival plan, zoos across the country are working together to protect our most beautiful inhabitants.

"When an animal becomes extinct, we are no longer able to see the animal, enjoy the animal and in the grand spectrum of things there's a link gone out of your chain so we can't lose too many of those before we have a bigger, greater effect on the whole population." says Fried.

The Endangered Species Act has helped fully recover 31 species.

Conservation Day at the Dakota Zoo is in May.

For a complete list of endangered animals and plants in North Dakota, click on this link: 

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