A tiny fish once at the center of a controversy over the Endangered Species Act has officially recovered – a rare victory for the conservation movement at a time when so many species are disappearing across the planet. The US Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced that the snail darter has a robust enough population to remove it from the nation’s list of imperiled wildlife. The species was declared endangered in 1975 because of the threat posed by the construction of the Tellico Dam in Tennessee. Now the fish is no longer at risk of extinction after being transplanted to other rivers and discovered in locations beyond the dam’s reach. The miniscule freshwater fish was the subject of a major legal battle that ended with the Supreme Court ruling the federal government had to protect imperiled plants and animals “whatever the cost.”

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