10 animals that are no longer on the endangered list

April 16, 2018

The Jane Goodall Collection by G Adventures is a selection of 20 incredible, wildlife-focused tours endorsed by world-renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall. Here’s some more information about how we believe responsible travel — in the spirit of Dr. Goodall — can help change the world.

On April 22, communities around the world will observe Earth Day, by celebrating all the natural wonder our planet has to offer, and reflecting on the environmental risks, threats, and challenges the world's citizens have yet to overcome. In the week leading up to April 22, the G Adventures blog will be looking at how responsible travel can help make the world a better place. Here, details about 10 amazing animals that have been removed from the endangered species list.

Travel and tourism can be a pathway towards meaningful animal experiences — but it can also be harmful. It’s for those reasons that G Adventures tours adhere to a strict Animal Welfare Policy that ensures our passengers, guides, and all individuals who we hire and interact with are respectful of animals — including working animals, such as horses and camels, in addition to wildlife — at every step along the journey.

In demonstrating respectful, responsible practices concerning animals to our travellers, we hope to send the message that wildlife is not only worth seeing — it’s worth protecting. That idea is already out there, of course: for decades, conservationist organizations (such as the Jane Goodall Institute, with whom G Adventures works closely) and environmental initiatives have been working to protect some of the planet’s most vulnerable species. And there have been some notable successes. Here are 10 wild animals that have, thanks to such efforts, been moved off of the official “endangered” list.

1. Southern white rhinoceros

Not to be confused with the northern white rhinoceros, the last male of which — tragically — died in early 2018. Conservation efforts — including anti-poaching initiatives — have helped the southern white rhino bounce back from the brink of extinction. The species now lives in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Kenya.

2. Panda bear

In 2016, the giant panda bear — long the symbol of wildlife conservation, via the World Wildlife Fund — was officially bumped off the endangered list, as the population of giant pandas living in the wild jumped to just over 1,800.

3. Chatham petrel

This pacific seabird, which lives in New Zealand, was downgraded from endangered to vulnerable in 2015 thanks to local conservation efforts.

4. Yellowstone grizzly bear

In a controversial move, the Yellowstone grizzly lost its endangered classification in 2017, as the bears now number in the high 700s. Activists worry that the loss of the protections afforded to the grizzly under the Endangered Species Act put it once again at risk of dwindling in numbers (there were fewer than 200 of the bears in the mid-20th century).

5. Arabian oryx

Technically, the Arabian oryx was once extinct: the last remaining Arabian oryx in the wild was reportedly shot in Oman in 1972. So, in a move that was at the time unprecedented, an effort to save the species from the brink began — by breeding the animals that remained alive in captivity, and eventually reintroducing them to their natural habitats. Today, there are more than 1,000 Arabian oryx alive in the wild.

6. Gray wolf

Gray wolves in the U.S. Rocky Mountains were delisted from the endangered list in 2011, after being hunted to near-extinction.

7. Steller sea lion

Overfishing of the Gulf of Alaska led to a severe decline in the population of the Steller sea lion, in addition to increased predation. But the population has increased substantially, and the species was taken off the endangered list in 2013.

8. Gray whale

This one is a bit complicated: there are gray whale populations that are critically endangered, such as those living in the western North Pacific, while other populations (off North American shores) are populous. Overall, the species is classified “least concern”.

9. Snow leopard

While the elusive snow leopard still faces threats, the big cat — which was first listed as endangered in 1972 — was downgraded to “vulnerable” in 2017.

10. Northern brown kiwi

Odd birds need love, too! This species of kiwi was removed from the endangered list in 2017, alongside the rowi kiwi.

Getting there

Check out our Jane Goodall Collection series of tours here.

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