4 Species That Barely Survived

It's a wide known fact that the Earth is losing species on daily basis. The worst estimates range up to 137 species a day. The reasons are various, from clearing woods and building dams and thus shrinking habitat of wildlife, to pollution which is becoming major concern. Here, you'll read about species that were almost lost because of unscrupulous exploitation of nature.

Bald eagle, one of the most famous symbols of America, almost died out back in the 50's. Its numbers were reduced to mere 419 mating pairs in lower 48 States. Reason for this was pesticide known as DDT. It circulated through food chain, and when it got to its predatorial top, it made eagle's egg shells so thin that it couldn't do proper job of protecting the embryo. When the problem was identified and dealt with, number of eagles soared so high that National Fish and Wildlife Service stopped doing yearly counts.

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Ironically, the second place on our list is occupied by a bird that was chosen by Ben Franklin to be the national bird of America, the same country that almost wiped it from the face of the Earth in 1800's. After several failed attempts of repopulation, wild turkeys that were brought in from Missouri and Arkansas (the only places that were too far away for pioneers to go and exterminate them), they managed to survive and are now thriving.

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The third on our list is saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), almost went extinct in the 70's because of fashion demands. They were hunted down mercilessly and their numbers went down to only 5% of their usual number. After the bans on hunting, their numbers bounced back rapidly.

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Once most widespread predator gave in to the superior predator species – us. Gray wolf once roamed vast regions all over the world, but when people started colonizing even the most remote parts of the planet, wolves retreated to the deep forests. Now, when Europe is changing its agricultural economy policies by becoming more industrialized, all those fields that were once used for crops are now free again and wolves are stepping up their game. They are retaking their land all over the world and enjoying it so much that recent study has shown that wolves in Italy prefer hunting down and eating wild boar to common deer (which is their usual prey).

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