Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

People looking at a stuffed ivory-billed woodpecker (left) in a glass case in Clarendon, Ark., in 2005. Photo: Stephen B. Thornton/MCT/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday that 22 animals and one plant native to the United States are now extinct and should be removed from the endangered species list after exhausting efforts to find evidence that they are still alive.

Why it matters: After existing for an untold number of years, the species will likely never appear on the planet again, largely because of human-caused habitat destruction and climate change.

  • Federal scientists warned that the consequences of humanity's impact on habitats and a warming planet may make such disappearances more common unless conservation efforts are increased.

The list includes 11 birds, eight freshwater mussels, two fish, a bat and a plant.

  • The ivory-billed woodpecker, which was native to the southeastern U.S., was the third-largest woodpecker in the world. Its decline and extinction coincided with the destruction of its old-growth forest habitat from logging.
  • The kauaʻi ʻōʻō, a Hawaiian forest bird, can now only be heard through recordings. Habitat destruction and the introduction of non-native species, including egg-eating mammals, contributed to its extinction.
  • Bachman's warbler, native to the southeastern U.S., was a yellow-breasted songbird that was last spotted in the country in 1988. The loss of mature forest habitat and widespread collection were the primary causes of its extinction.
  • The flat pigtoe, a freshwater mussel native to the southeastern U.S., has not been seen since the 1980s.
  • The San Marcos gambusia, first listed in 1980, was a freshwater fish found in the slow-flowing section of the San Marcos River in Texas.

What they're saying: “With climate change and natural area loss pushing more and more species to the brink, now is the time to lift up proactive, collaborative, and innovative efforts to save America's wildlife," Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said.

  • The Fish and Wildlife Service said that each extinction shows "how human activity can drive species decline and extinction, by contributing to habitat loss, overuse and the introduction of invasive species and disease."
  • "These extinctions highlight the need to take action to prevent further losses," it added.

Many of the species were likely extremely endangered or extinct before the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973, meaning that possibly no amount of conservation would have been able to save them, according to the New York Times.

  • It’s possible but improbable that the 23 species could reappear.
  • 11 of the species were native to Hawaii and Guam.

The big picture: 54 species, including the bald eagle and humpback whales, have been taken off the endangered list after recovering, and another 56 species have been downgraded from endangered to threatened.

  • However, the Fish and Wildlife Service currently categorizes more than 1,000 animals and plants as threatened or endangered.

Go deeper: Scientists clone first U.S. endangered species

Go deeper

Notorious "Bird Man of Tampa Bay" dies

Ralph T. Heath with rescued pelican at Suncoast Bird Sanctuary in 1970. Photo courtesy of Florida Archives

Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary founder Ralph Heath Jr. died over the weekend, per St. Pete Catalyst. He was 76.

Why it matters: Heath was known for ruffling feathers in both good and bad ways. His wild life story is well worth the read.

Fintech's record year

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Massive venture rounds into fintech companies have ballooned this year, pushing up total dollars invested — in just the first three quarters of 2021 — to nearly double the amount in all of 2020, per new PitchBook data.

Why it matters: The maturing of fintech startups means a growing number of companies are able to raise huge later-stage funding rounds as investors look to lock-in their bets.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Democrats' clean power outlook is very muddy

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Here are two big questions as a key Democratic proposal to slash emissions from power generation flounders: how much its demise would sap climate protections, and what might replace it.

Catch up fast: New financial carrots and sticks for utilities to deploy zero-carbon power — the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP) — look unlikely to stay in Democrats' big social spending and climate bill.