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Nature’s Biggest Comebacks


Our scientists have chosen the top 10 comeback stories in nature. These are the places, ecosystems and species that have been brought back from the brink of disaster. See what made the cut from the last century — and what we hope will be on our list in the next.

The Next Comebacks: Salmon

The ecosystems of the Pacific Coast — from Alaska down to California — are tied together by one thing: salmon. Salmon have sustained human populations for generations and are the region’s driving ecological force, but now 28 populations of salmon are listed as threatened or endangered. The Conservancy is partnering with diverse groups to help salmon stage a comeback in more than 50 restoration projects across five states and British Columbia.

The restoration tactics range from the extremely complicated to the very basic. For example, in northern California, Coho salmon are in decline in part because 80 percent of rivers don’t have enough fallen trees to create the cold pools that salmon need to survive.  The simple restoration technique enacted by the Conservancy and partners of putting logs into rivers at strategic locations has already garnered dramatic results at minimal costs. Read more.

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