In 2022, these new animal species were discovered – or rediscovered.

In a world where it seems like more and more species are becoming extinct, it’s always exciting when scientists find new species or rediscover an animal or plant from a species that hasn’t been seen in decades (or even centuries). It can also be exciting to spot an animal or plant from an extremely rare species that humans have only seen a few times before.

The Ohio Division of Wildlife (OWD) released a Facebook post in early January 2022, finally confirming that fish management staff had spotted a little long-head darter fish this previous fall. The species, which originated in Ohio, was thought to be extirpated (locally extinct), with no sightings or captures documented in almost 80 years, since 1939. However, it is now obvious that the species is not extinct in Ohio.

The long-head darter has populations in Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and now Ohio, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), despite being threatened in each of those states. According to the DEC, the long-head darter is normally olive-yellow in color with square patterns on the back, is around 4.5-5 inches long, and has a narrow head.

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