7 Endangered Species in the U.S. to Know
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Currently, over 1,300 endangered species live in the U.S., pushed nearly to the brink of extinction due to human interference or other tragedies. When a species vanishes completely, it may have a drastic ripple effect on other species in the area. Conservation efforts can help these animals grow in number again, but education and knowing more about these species can drive people to care about them.
1. Franklin’s Bumblebee
Many people realize that bees of all kinds are crucial to the ecosystem. Without honeybees, in particular, humans may have a difficult time harnessing a replacement for the ecosystem, which is why they need extreme protection. The Franklin’s bumblebee has a limited environment, only in select parts of northern California and southern Oregon, so they aren’t often seen by many.
Currently, no measures for conservation exist for the insect. We need more information to correctly assess the danger these bees might be in. Still, they’ve had a hard time. Non-native plants have taken over the native plants that Franklin’s bumblebees rely on for food, and they have to navigate through poisonous pesticides to pollinate other plants. Unfortunately, more about this species’ status needs to be known before conservation begins.
2. Indiana Bat
The Indiana bat is native to its home state, and it has been endangered since the 1960s, when human intervention disturbed the caves where the bat species resides. These bats typically only live to about ten years old, and most of the population hibernates in select few caves during winter.
White-nose syndrome, a disease that affects American wildlife, has crept into the dwindling population of Indiana bats. Conservation efforts are underway, but it may take a while for researchers and scientists alike to find a cure for the disease that spreads through the endangered species.
3. California Condor
The California condor wasn’t always just in California. Over time, humans poisoned and killed the condors. Hazards such as wires also pose threats to the California condor. In 2007, the California governor took measures to remove lead from the water in areas that California condors populated. Since then, the population of condors has been increasing, with captive breeding becoming a success. The California condors have been breeding in both captivity and the wild now. Though the species still faces extinction, it is on its way to recovery.
4. Florida Panther
The Florida panther is a subspecies of mountain lion, differing from others of its kind by its crooked tail and unique fur patterns. While it used to be found from Florida to midwestern states, this species is now only found in the southwest of Florida and wetlands. No more than 130 Florida panthers exist in the wild, and they face many threats of extinction altogether. However, recent acts of land preservation have allowed the big cat population to grow steadily. In the future, this species may make it off the endangered list.
5. Key Deer
The Key deer is a subspecies of white-tailed deer found only in the Florida Keys. The wild population has fallen under 1,000 members, most often thanks to human intervention. Illegal feeding of the Key deer can spread parasite infestations that harm the species.
Traffic also poses an issue for all kinds of deer, and the Key deer are no exception. Though many people may not know it as an endangered species in the U.S., the Key deer species is worth saving. We brought this species back from the brink of extinction before, and with the right conservation efforts, it could grow again.
6. Black-Footed Ferret
Black-footed ferrets rely on a substantial community of prairie dogs to thrive, as they are their primary food source. Primarily, purposeful extermination or land development cause endangered species. Breeding in captivity, then releasing black-footed ferrets into the wild has proved to help the population grow more, thankfully. They are a flagship species, meaning that conserving them brings attention to the plight of other species in their ecosystem.
7. Red Wolf
One of the most well-known endangered species in the U.S. is the red wolf. It used to roam many states, but now you can only find it in North Carolina. As of 2021, only about eight red wolves existed in the wild, while organizations protected others in captivity. The road to recovery is slow for this species of wolf, but in time, they may bounce back.
Help Save the Endangered Species in the U.S.
As the endangered species in the U.S. continue to join the list, many people need to realize that time is of the essence if they want to save these animals. Several people may think they can’t help, but by advocating for these animals and educating others, you can help drive away the fear and misunderstanding others might have about them. Get involved by sponsoring an endangered animal. Though it has been too late for many species, a collective effort can turn the tides for these endangered animals.
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About the author
Steve is the Managing Editor of Environment.co and regularly contributes articles related to wildlife, biodiversity, and recycling. His passions include wildlife photography and bird watching.