Trumpeter swans, whose populations have grown as a result of significant conservation efforts by many partners over decades, were recently removed from Michigan’s threatened and endangered species list.

Michigan’s Threatened and Endangered list got its seventh update in nearly 50 years.  Now, the list shows a total of 407 species are threatened and endangered. Experts from universities, the Michigan Natural Features Inventory, other conservation organizations, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recommended changes to the list based on recent data.

36 species were removed from the list, including trumpeter swans. However, 58 species were added to the list. “When people come together to collaborate on conservation, we can recover rare species,” said DNR endangered species specialist Jennifer Kleitch. “For instance, trumpeter swans were just removed from Michigan’s threatened and endangered species list. Their populations have grown as a result of significant conservation efforts by many partners over decades.”

What animals were removed from the threatened and endangered list?

Although the trumpeter swan has been removed from Michigan’s list of threatened and endangered species, it is still federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Three bat species, including the little brown bat, northern long-eared bat, and tri-colored bat, have been listed as threatened due to significant population declines in Michigan resulting from white-nose syndrome. Rusty-patched bumblebees and American bumblebees were added to the endangered species list because, like many pollinator species, their populations are seeing large declines.

“Many threatened and endangered species rely on high-quality natural areas that benefit all of us by providing clean water, clean air and places for us to enjoy nature. When species are struggling, it can indicate declines in the functioning of those natural areas, which in turn can impact our quality of life,” Kleitch said.

“The addition is sad yet a great move.”

The DNR took to Twitter to share more information about the list and one user shared their thoughts. “The addition is sad yet a great move. The only thing worse than being an endangered species is being an extinct species due to the fact of not being helped as much as a protected listing can,” said a comment under their post.

See a full list of the state’s threatened and endangered plants and animals on the Michigan Natural Features Inventory website.

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