Once upon a time in San Marcos, Texas there lived an itty bitty little thing known to us as the San Marcos gambusia.

This diminutive critter required clean water with lots of currents. It snacked on bugs and other invertebrate. It was unique in that it gave birth to live young, rather than fish.

It Took 40 Years To Be Declared Extinct

Measuring only 1 inch, give or take, it could only be found in the San Marcos Springs of central Texas. The population of this little fish was less than 1,000 in 1969. The last sighting of the gambusia was in 1983.

In a tale that bears testimony to the slow-moving wheels of bureaucracy, it was not until 2021 that it was proposed that the gambusia be removed from the Endangered Species Act by the federal government.

Finally, in October 2023, the proposition was finalized and the San Marcos gambusia was officially declared extinct.

Little Fish, Big Problems

Why does the San Marcos gambusia and it's long, drawn out extinction process matter? Because it's not the only extinction.

A total of 21 animals were also declared extinct by the federal government last month. That's a lot. As of today, there are 150 species on the state's threatened species list, and another 74 on the endangered.

How many other of these animals took decades to have their disappearance announced by officials? How many other animals are now gone from the face of earth forever....and we don't even know it?

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