Modoc Sucker Public Domain US Fish and Wildlife Service

A tiny fish has beaten big odds to swim off the endangered species list.

Only the second fish to make it off the Endangered Species list, thanks to recovery efforts, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delisted the Modoc sucker on Tuesday. — The Oregon chub was removed from the endangered list last year.

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At its low point in 1985, the Modoc sucker was found in only seven streams, within just 13 total miles of habitat on the state line between Oregon and California. Today, 2,600 of the fish, which grow to three inches, can be found in 43 miles of streams within its historic habitat.

Conservationists say without the Endangered Species Act, the rare sucker might have gone the way of the dodo, becoming extinct. Putting it on the list led to restoration of its habitat that had been destroyed by soil erosion from cattle grazing along the water–now fenced in. Another remedy was to remove the invasive fish that had been stocked into streams.

(READ more at Scientific American) — Photos: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

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