The nene, a Hawaiian goose that is also the Hawaii state bird, has recovered to the point that its status was changed from endangered to threatened Sunday by the U.S. Interior Department.

Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt announced the so-called downlisting on Sunday during a visit to the Pearl Harbor National Wildlife Refuge.

The bird was once abundant in the Hawaiian Islands but by 1952 hunting and predators had reduced the population to only 32 birds. It was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 1967 and the population has since recovered to more than 3,000 statewide.

Maxx Phillips, the Center for Biological Diversity’s Hawaii director, said the nene recovery demonstrates how effective the ESA can be.

“Without this landmark law, wildlife in danger of disappearing forever, like the nene, would have little hope of recovery,” she said in a press release.

And yet, as Phillips points out, the Interior Department under Bernhardt is moving to roll back key provisions of the ESA, a move that environmentalists worry could result in extinction for hundreds of animals and plants.

Hawaii is home to hundreds of endangered species, ranging from birds and wildlife to plants and corals. It’s been called “the endangered species capital of the world.”

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