Press Release | September 29, 2021

SELC statement on U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s declaration of 23 extinct species

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the extinction of 23 species. In response to the announcement, SELC Staff Attorney Ramona McGee released the following statement:

“The global biodiversity crisis isn’t sparing the South. Several of the species that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced as extinct today once called our region home. Losing them is further proof that the South’s most vulnerable wildlife need proactive protections to survive.  

“Yet in recent years, the Southeast Region of Fish and Wildlife Service has instead been removing protections for species, including unjustified proposals to lessen or eliminate protections for the red-cockaded woodpecker and the Nashville crayfish. The extinctions we saw declared today highlight the problem of conservation measures coming too late. As climate change exacerbates habitat loss and imperils many Southeastern species, the need for science-based decision-making that errs on the side of protection has never been greater.” 


The Southern Environmental Law Center is one of the nation’s most powerful defenders of the environment, rooted in the South. With a long track record, SELC takes on the toughest environmental challenges in court, in government, and in our communities to protect our region’s air, water, climate, wildlife, lands, and people. Nonprofit and nonpartisan, the organization has a staff of 170, including 90 attorneys, and is headquartered in Charlottesville, Va., with offices in Asheville, Atlanta, Birmingham, Chapel Hill, Charleston, Nashville, Richmond, and Washington, D.C.

Press Contacts

Alexandra Werner-Winslow

Communications Manager (VA)

Phone: 434-977-4090