Much to the relief of nature enthusiasts in Ohio, the Lake Erie watersnake has been removed from the federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife as a result of over a decade of hard work. Along with the announcement, the Interior Department explained that the state has been working to protect both the species and its habitat in Ohio and Ontario.
Another Success Story
“Today, the Lake Erie watersnake joins species such as the bald eagle, the American alligator and the peregrine falcon that have rebounded from the threat of extinction and no longer require the protection of the Endangered Species Act,” the Interior secretary Ken Salazar explained. “These species- and the hundreds of others whose extinction has been prevented by the act- are living testimonies to its ability to bring species back from the brink by protecting them and conserving and restoring their habitat.”
A Joint Effort
The Interior Department was joined by Ohio wildlife officials, local citizen organizations, Northern Illinois University, the Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. The various organizations will help keep track of the species over the next few years, marking its progress and providing aid when necessary.
“Recovery of the Lake Erie watersnake is cause for celebration both for this species and for the Endangered Species Act’s long record of success,” said Collette Adkins Giese from the Center for Biological Diversity. “Before its listing under the Act, the snake faced intense human persecution and habitat destruction. Through the reasonable efforts of state and federal agencies and the public, the survival of this once imperiled species is now assured.”