It's often better to be lucky than good. Especially if you are an Oregon chub fish.
Just as recently as 22 years ago, there were less than 1,000 Oregon chub fish swimming around the streams and rivers of the Pacific Northwest. Since these tiny little fish were first placed on the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Animals list back in 1993, their numbers have grown significantly.
As of Tuesday, Feb. 17, Oregon chub numbers have expanded to over 140,000 little swimmers and include populations in as many as 80 different bodies of water, thus removing them from the endangered list.
From the USFWS official press release announcing this milestone, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell stated:
This effort succeeded because of an extraordinary partnership between federal and state agencies, landowners and other stakeholders who brought this species and ecosystem back from the brink of extinction in just over 20 years.
Even though the Oregon chub is the first fish to be removed from the list, it is not alone. Many other species are also fighting for survival against loss of habitat and predation. Fortunately for Oregon, the Columbian deer and the Borax Lake chub, two species exclusively from that region, are also up for delisting soon.