World’s Top Environmental Success Stories

By Tom Randall and Eric Roston - 2012-09-18T01:07:59Z

Photographer Jim and Jamie Dutcher/National Geographic Stock

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Endangered Species

Beginning Oct. 1, hunters in northwestern Wyoming will prowl for gray wolves -- their first opportunity to do so since 1974, when the U.S. Endangered Species Act protected the animal.

Gray wolves, bald eagles, grizzly bears, and Louisiana's state bird, the brown pelican, have all fought their way off the endangered list. Conserving brown pelicans' habitats began in 1903, when President Theodore Roosevelt created the country's first national wildlife refuge. The wildlife refuge system is now the world's largest, comprising more than 150 million acres of protected lands.

"The return of the wolf to the Northern Rocky Mountains is a major success story, and reflects the remarkable work of States, Tribes, and our many partners to bring this iconic species back from the brink of extinction," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe in a statement.

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