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CENTER for BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY Because life is good

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Species and Description
(click for a detailed technical account)
(click to view literature citations and larger graph)
(current and historic range)

Red wolf
Canis rufus

Hunting and habitat loss reduced the red wolf to fewer than 100 individuals by 1970 and by 1980 the species was considered extinct in the wild. In 2003, approximately 100 red wolves in 22 packs existed in the wild with another 157 wolves held in captive breeding facilities.

FL(b), MS(b), NC(b), SC(b), TN(b) --- AL(x), AR(x), DE(x), DC(x), GA(x), IL(x), IN(x), KY(x), LA(x), MD(x), MO(x), OH(x), OK(x), PA(x), TX(x), VA(x), WV(x)

Ozark big-eared bat
Corynorhinus townsendii ingens

The Ozark bit-eared bat was recognized as endangered due to small population size, reduced distribution, and vulnerability to human disturbances. There are ten known caves in Oklahoma and four in Arkansas considered essential to the Ozark big-eared bat's continuing existence, with an estimated population of approxiamtely 2,300 individuals in 1995.

AR(b), OK(b) --- MO(x)

Florida panther
Puma concolor coryi

Hunting and habitat loss reduced the Florida panther to a single population of 30-50 adults. By 2003, the number of known panthers increased to 87 and the panthers began to range over a larger area.

FL(b) --- AL(x), AR(x), GA(x), LA(x), MS(x), SC(x), TN(x)

Arctic peregrine falcon
Falco peregrinus tundrius

The use of DDT and other organochlorine pesticides resulted in reproductive failures in Arctic peregrines and caused their population to plummet. After DDT was banned, migration counts at the New Jersey Cape May Hawkwatch site saw the number of migrating Arctic peregrines increase from 103 in 1976, to 429 in 1992 (the species was delisted in 1994), to 1,017 in 2004.

AL(m), AK(b), AZ(m), AR(m), CA(m), CO(m), CT(m), DE(m), DC(m), FL(m), GA(m), ID(m), IL(m), IN(m), IA(m), KS(m), KY(m), LA(m), ME(m), MD(m), MA(m), MI(m), MN(m), MS(m), MO(m), MT(m), NE(m), NV(m), NH(m), NY(m), NM(m), NJ(m), NC(m), ND(m), OH(m), OK(m), OR(m), PA(m), RI(m), SC(m), SD(m), TN(m), TX(m), UT(m), VT(m), VA(m), WA(m), WV(m), WI(m), WY(m) ---

Whooping cranei
Grus americana

The whooping crane declined precipitously in the late 1800's and early 1900's due to hunting and habitat loss. It rebounded from 54 birds (48 wild and 6 captive) when listed as an endangered species 1967 to 513 (368 wild and 145 captive) in 2006.

CO(m), FL(b), GA(m), IL(m), IN(m), KS(m), KY(m), MT(m), NE(m), ND(m), OK(m), SD(m), TN(m), TX(s), WI(b), WY(m) --- AL(x), AR(x), DE(x), DC(x), IA(x), LA(x), MD(x), MN(x), MS(x), MO(x), NJ(x), NC(x), OH(x), SC(x), UT(x), VA(x), WV(x)

American peregrine falcon
Falco peregrinus anatum

The use of DDT and other organochlorine pesticides resulted in reproductive failures in American peregrines and caused populations to plummet. After DDT was banned, the number of American peregrine pairs breeding in the U.S. increased from 324 in 1975 to 1,700 in 2000; the species was delisted in 1999.

AL(m), AK(b), AZ(b), AR(m), CA(b), CO(b), CT(b), DE(b), DC(m), GA(b), ID(b), IL(b), IN(b), IA(b), KS(m), KY(b), LA(m), ME(b), MD(b), MA(b), MI(b), MN(b), MS(m), MO(m), MT(b), NE(b), NV(b), NH(b), NY(b), NM(b), NJ(b), NC(b), ND(m), OH(b), OK(m), OR(b), PA(b), RI(b), SC(b), SD(b), TN(b), TX(b), UT(b), VT(b), VA(b), WA(b), WV(m), WI(b), WY(b) ---

Karner blue
Plebejus melissa samuelis

The larvae of Karner blue butterflies feed exclusively on wild lupine, for which habitat has been destroyed by development and fragmentation, or degraded by successional changes. The Karner blue has stabilized in many of the 12 states it historically occurred, particularly Michigan, and has been successfully reintroduced in NH, OH, and IN

IN(b), MI(b), MN(b), NH(b), NY(b), OH(b), WI(b) --- IL(x), IA(x), ME(x), MA(x), PA(x)

Black-footed ferret
Mustela nigripes

As many as 5.6 million black-footed ferrets once occurred throughout the grasslands and basins of interior North America, but were widely extirpated with the elimination of prairie dogs nationwide. The ferret was thought to be extinct in 1980, but reintroductions from a single population in Wyoming have led to 400 ferrets in the wild in 6 states, and 400 more in captive breeding facilities.

AZ(b), CO(b), MT(b), SD(b), UT(b), WY(b) --- KS(x), NE(x), NM(x), ND(x), OK(x), TX(x)

American burying beetle
Nicrophorus americanus
Although the cause of the American burying beetle's drastic decline (the beetle is absent from 90% of its historic range) is not well understood, it is thought to be due to disturbances in the food chain. Captive breeding and reintroduction efforts increased the total number of captive and introduced populations from one in 1990 to six in 2005.

AR(b), KS(b), MA(b), NE(b), OH(b), OK(b), RI(b), SD(b), TX(b) --- AL(x), CT(x), DE(x), DC(x), FL(x), GA(x), IL(x), IN(x), IA(x), KY(x), LA(x), ME(x), MD(x), MI(x), MN(x), MS(x), MO(x), MT(x), NH(x), NY(x), NJ(x), NC(x), ND(x), PA(x), SC(x), TN(x), VT(x), VA(x), WV(x), WI(x)

Gray bat
Myotis grisescens

Because gray bats are found in just eight caves, disturbance and vandalism of maternity and hibernacula caves is the main threat to the species. After listing in 1976, the number of gray bats continued to decline to a low of 1.5 million in 1992, but numbers then began to increase and reached 2.5 million in 2003 when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced an intent to downlist the species.

AL(b), AR(b), FL(o), GA(o), IL(o), IN(o), KS(o), KY(b), MS(o), MO(b), NC(o), OK(o), TN(b), VA(o), WV(s) ---

Red-cockaded woodpecker
Picoides borealis

The red-cockaded woodpecker declined precipitously due to the loss of mature, long-leaf forest, largely due to logging. Population levels have stabilized and many have increased since the late 1990's.

AL(b), AR(b), FL(b), GA(b), LA(b), MS(b), NC(b), OK(b), SC(b), TX(b), VA(b) --- KY(x), MD(x), MO(x), NJ(x), TN(x)

American alligator
Alligator mississippiensis

Habitat loss and poorly regulated hunting resulted in the decline of American alligator populations. Since listing, populations have increased and the species has been downlisted or delisted throughout much of its range.

AL(b), AR(b), FL(b), GA(b), LA(b), MS(b), NC(b), OK(b), SC(b), TX(b) ---

Gray wolf (Southwest DPS)
Canis lupus (Southwest DPS)
Hunting and trapping resulted in the extirpation of Mexican gray wolves from the United States by 1970. Wolves captured in Mexico were used to establish a captive breeding program and as of 2005, there were 35-49 Mexican gray wolves in the wild making up 8 packs.

AZ(b), NM(b) --- CO(x), OK(x), TX(x), UT(x)

Gray wolf (Eastern DPS)
Canis lupus (Eastern DPS)

Hunting and persecution drove the gray wolf to near extinction with only a small number of wolves remaining in Minnesota and Michigan when the species was listed in 1974. Today, the total Great Lakes wolf population has increased to approximately 3,880 wolves up from less than 1,000 prior to listing.

ME(o), MI(b), MN(b), WI(b) --- AR(x), CT(x), IL(x), IN(x), IA(x), KS(x), MA(x), MO(x), NE(x), NH(x), NY(x), NJ(x), ND(x), OH(x), PA(x), RI(x), SD(x), VT(x)

Grizzly bear (Yellowstone DPS)
Ursus arctos horribilis (Yellowstone DPS)
The killing of grizzly bears and the destruction and fragmentation of their habitat caused drastic population declines in the lower 48 states; by 1975 only six populations remained. The number of grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone population has increased from an estimated 224 bears in 1975 to over 500 bears in 2005.

ID(b), MT(b), WA(b), WY(b) --- AZ(x), CA(x), CO(x), KS(x), MN(x), NE(x), NV(x), NM(x), ND(x), OK(x), OR(x), SD(x), TX(x), UT(x)

Bald eagle (Continental U.S. DPS)
Haliaeetus leucocephalus (Continental U.S. DPS)

The bald eagle declined throughout the Lower 48 states due to habitat loss and DDT application. The banning of DDT, increased habitat protection, and aggressive captive breeding and translocation programs caused the number of bald eagle pairs in the Lower 48 to soar from 416 in 1963 to approximately 9,789 in the latest census between 2004-2006.

AL(b), AZ(b), AR(b), CA(b), CO(b), CT(b), DE(b), DC(b), FL(b), GA(b), ID(b), IL(b), IN(b), IA(b), KS(b), KY(b), LA(b), ME(b), MD(b), MA(b), MI(b), MN(b), MS(b), MO(b), MT(b), NE(b), NV(b), NH(b), NY(b), NM(b), NJ(b), NC(b), ND(b), OH(b), OK(b), OR(b), PA(b), RI(b), SC(b), SD(b), TN(b), TX(b), UT(b), VT(b), VA(b), WA(b), WV(b), WI(b), WY(b) ---

(b) currently breeds, (s) seasonally present, (m) migration route, (o) occasionally present, (x) extirpated

Photo © Phillip Colla