Donate Sign up for e-network
CENTER for BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY Because life is good

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Southeast Region

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)

Shortnose sturgeon
Acipenser brevirostrum
The shortnose sturgeon formerly occupied rivers and estuaries along the Atlantic seaboard, but was driven to near extinction by overfishing, by-catch in the shad fishery, damming of rivers, habitat destruction, and deterioration of water quality. There are now five improving population and one stable, such as the Lower Connecticut River population that increased from approximatley 875 adults in 1990 to 1,800 in 2003.

CT(b), DE(b), DC(b), FL(b), GA(b), ME(b), MD(b), MA(b), NY(b), NJ(b), NC(b), PA(b), SC(b), VA(b) --- NH(x), RI(x)

Virginia big-eared bat
Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus
The Virginia big-eared bat is threatened by destruction and disturbance of its maternity and hibernation caves, and possibly by pollution. At the time of listing in 1979, the population was estimated at 3,500 bats. By 2000, it had grown to 18,442. Most of its essential caves have been protected by private and government agencies.

KY(s), NC(s), VA(b), WV(b) ---

Seabeach amaranth
Amaranthus pumilus
By 1988, seabeach amaranth had been extirpated from much of the Atlantic coast, largely due to beach development, dune stabilization and enhancement projects, off-road vehicles, recreation, exotic species and hurricanes. Since being placed on the endangered species list, the amaranth has recolonized New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, and increased dramatically from approximately 15,000 in 1993 to approximately 48,000 in 2004.

DE(b), MD(b), NY(b), NJ(b), NC(b), SC(b), VA(b) --- CT(x), MA(x), RI(x)

Fin whale
Balaenoptera physalus
Fin whales were hunted in all the world's oceans for the first three-quarters of the 20th century. There have been increases in both the North Atlantic and North Pacific populations in recent years.

AL(o), AK(s), CA(s), CT(s), DE(s), FL(s), GA(s), HI(s), LA(o), ME(s), MD(s), MA(s), MS(o), NH(s), NY(s), NJ(s), NC(s), OR(s), PA(s), RI(s), SC(s), TX(o), VA(s), WA(s) ---

Sandplain gerardia
Agalinis acuta
Only 12 of 51 historic populations remained when the sandplain gerardia was listed as Endangered in 1988. Reintroductions increased the number of populations from 12 in 1988 to 22 in 2005, and the number of individual plants has also increased.

CT(b), MD(b), MA(b), NY(b), RI(b) ---

Snail darter
Percina tanasi
Impoundments in the Tennessee River drainage likely caused the extirpation of the snail darter in parts of the mainstem and the lower reaches of the major tributaries of the Tennessee River. Assuming that all natural populations existed in 1974 the number of snail darter populations has increased from six to nine through the creation of new populations and the recolonization of historic habitat by the new populations.

AL(b), GA(b), TN(b) ---

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)

Virginia round-leaf birch
Betula uber
Virginia round-leaf birch occurs only in Virginia's Cressy Creek watershed where it declined to just 26 plants by 1976. It was listed as endangered in 1978. Cultivation, reintroduction and habitat restoration created 19 new populations with a total of 1,400 trees by 1994. It has been downlisted to threatened status and is expected to be delisted by 2015.

VA(b) ---

Blue whale
Balaenoptera musculus
The blue whale was reduced by as much as 99% due to whaling that occurred until the mid-1960's. The number of whales reported off the coast of California increased from 704 in 1980 to an estimated 1,744 today.

AK(s), CA(s), FL(o), HI(s), ME(o), MD(o), MA(o), NI(o), NH(o), NY(o), NC(o), OR(o), PR(o), RI(o), SC(o), VI(o), WA(o) ---

Atlantic green sea turtle
Chelonia mydas mydas
Exploitation of the green sea turtle, their eggs, and their habitat resulted in population declines. Globally, green sea turtle populations continue to decline, but the number of Florida nests counted has increased from 2,100 in1989-1990 to 9,609 in 2004-2005.

AL(s), CT(s), DE(m), FL(b), GA(b), LA(s), MA(s), MS(s), NY(s), NJ(s), NC(b), PR(b), RI(s), SC(b), TX(s), VI(b), VA(m) ---

Kirtland's warbler
Dendroica kirtlandii
The loss of young jack pine stands due to fire suppression and reduced nesting success due to brown-headed cowbird parasitism reduced the number of Kirtland's warbler territories to just 201 by 1971. In response to habitat restoration and control of cowbirds, the population began increasing in 1990, steadily growing to 1,701 pairs in 2007. The species recolonized Ontario and appeared for the first time Wisconsin in 2007, but its stronghold remains in Michigan.

FL(m), GA(m), KY(m), MI(b), NC(m), OH(m), PA(m), SC(m), WV(m), WI(b) ---

Atlantic hawksbill sea turtle
Eretmochelys imbricata imbricata
Globally, the number of hawksbill sea turtles may have declined by as much as 80% over the last century due to commerce in their shells, poaching, habitat loss, bycatch and entanglement in marine debris. Although hawksbill numbers continue to decline globally, at protected beaches on Mona Island, Puerto Rico nests increased from 177 in 1974 to 537 in 1998 and at Buck Island Reef in the US Virgin Islands nests increased from 73 in 1987 to 121 in 1998.

AL(s), CT(o), DE(o), FL(b), GA(o), LA(s), MD(o), MA(o), MS(s), NY(o), NJ(o), NC(o), PR(b), RI(o), SC(o), TX(s), VI(b), VA(o) ---

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 crane
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)

Kemp's Ridley sea turtle
Lepidochelys kempii
Historically, over 40,000 females nested in a single day on one beach in Mexico but egg collection, real estate and oil development, and commercial fisheries pushed the species to near extinction by the 1970s. With reintroductions from Mexican populations, nesting sites have been reestablished along the Texas coast.

AL(o), CT(s), DE(s), FL(o), GA(s), LA(m), ME(s), MD(s), MA(s), MS(m), NH(s), NY(s), NJ(s), NC(s), PR(o), RI(s), SC(o), TX(b), VI(o), VA(s) ---

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),

Mississippi sandhill crane
Grus canadensis pulla
Loss of habitat reduced the once abundant Mississippi subspecies of sandhill crane to a single population that numbered 40 birds in 1973. The release of captive-bred sandhill cranes began in 1981 and the wild population increased from 33 birds in 1989 to 135 birds in 1993; despite recent hurricane damage, the population was 120 birds in 2005.

MS(b) --- AL(x), FL(x), GA(x), LA(x), TX(x)

Yellowfin madtom
Noturus flavipinnis
The Yellowfin madtom was feared to be extinct as of 1969, but three populations were discovered in the early 1970s, each separated by an impassible dam. Since listing, one additional population of Yellowfin madtoms was discovered, two additional populations have been established, and two of the natural populations have increased in number.

TN(b), VA(b) --- GA(x)

Humpback whale
Megaptera novaeangliae
Humpback whale populations were greatly depleted by commercial whaling by the early 1900's. In 1966, the entire North Pacific humpback population was thought to number only around 1,200 animals; this estimate increased to between 6,000 and 8,000 by 1992.

AL(o), AK(s), CA(s), CT(s), DE(s), FL(s), GA(s), HI(s), LA(o), ME(s), MD(s), MA(s), MS(o), NI(s), NH(s), NY(s), NJ(s), NC(s), OR(s), PR(o), RI(s), SC(s), TX(o), VI(s), VA(s), WA(s) ---

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)

Delmarva fox squirrel
Sciurus niger cinereus
Logging and the conversion of forest land to farms resulted in decreasing numbers of Delmarva fox squirrels, eventually leading to their disappearance from much of their range. Today, numerous reintroduction efforts are thought to have been successful and where populations remained at the time of listing the squirrels are more abundant and widespread.

DE(b), MD(b), PA(b), VA(b) --- NJ(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) ---

Wood stork (U.S. breeding DPS)
Mycteria americana (U.S. breeding DPS)
A loss of suitable wetland feeding habitat reduced wood stork populations from an estimated 15,000-20,000 pairs in the late 1930s to around 5,000 pairs in the late 1970s. The number of wood stork nesting colonies increased from 29 at the time of listing in 1984 to 71 in 2002 and numbers of nests increased from an estimated 6,040 in 1984 to 8,985 in 2002.

AL(s), FL(b), GA(b), MS(s), NC(s), SC(b) ---

Roseate tern (Northeast DPS)
Sterna dougallii dougallii (Northeast DPS)
Roseate tern populations declined due to exploitation by the millenary trade and later due to loss of habitat associated with increased coastal development. Since being listed as endangered, the U.S. population of nesting roseate terns has increased from 2,995 in 1988 to 3,457 in 2004.

CT(b), ME(b), MA(b), NH(b), NY(b), RI(o) --- DE(x), MD(x), NJ(x), VA(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) ---

Atlantic piping plover
Charadrius melodus (Atlantic DPS)
In the late 19th and early 20th century, hunters and the millinery trade decimated Atlantic piping plover populations while later declines were the result of beach development and stabilization and human disturbance. The U.S. population increased from 550 pairs in 1986 to about 1,423 pairs in 2004, with 659 pairs in New England, 519 in NY-NJ, and 245 in the Southern region.

AL(s), CT(b), DE(b), FL(s), GA(s), LA(s), ME(b), MD(b), MA(b), MS(s), NH(b), NY(b), NJ(b), NC(b), PR(s), RI(b), SC(b), TX(s), VA(b) ---

Great Lakes piping plover
Charadrius melodus (Great Lakes DPS)
Early declines in Great Lakes piping plover populations were due to hunting, egg collecting and the millinery trade while conversion of nesting habitat to public recreation shoreline development caused later declines. When the Great Lakes piping plover was listed in 1985, only 19 pairs remained, but by 2005 there were 58 pairs and the plover's range had expanded to the south, east and west.

AL(s), FL(s), GA(s), LA(s), MI(b), MS(s), NC(s), SC(s), TX(s), VA(s), WI(b) --- IL(x), IN(x), MN(x), NY(x), OH(x), PA(x)

Brown pelican (Eastern DPS)
Pelecanus occidentalis (Atlantic/Eastern Gulf Coast DPS)
DDT was the main cause of the brown pelican population declines. Brown pelican nests on the Atlantic Coast increased from 2,796 in 1970 to 10,300 in 1985 (when the population was delisted) and continued to increase 15,670 in 1999; on the eastern Gulf Coast, the number of nests went from 5,100 in 1970 to 24,400 in 1999.

AL(b), CT(o), DE(s), FL(b), GA(b), ME(o), MD(b), MA(o), NH(o), NY(s), NJ(s), NC(b), RI(o), SC(b), VA(b) ---

Atlantic loggerhead sea turtle
Caretta caretta (Atlantic DPS)
Habitat destruction and entanglement in fishing gear threaten the Atlantic loggerhead sea turtle. The number of nests in Florida, which supports 95% of the loggerhead sea turtle nesting in the U.S., has increased substantially since listing.

AL(b), CT(s), DE(b), FL(b), GA(b), LA(b), ME(s), MD(b), MA(s), MS(b), NH(s), NY(s), NJ(b), NC(b), PR(b), RI(s), SC(b), TX(b), VI(b), VA(b) ---

Atlantic leatherback sea turtle
Dermochelys coriacea (Atlantic population)
Habitat destruction, incidental catch in commercial fisheries, and the harvest of eggs and flesh are the greatest threats to the survival of the leatherback sea turtle. Although globally, the number of leatherback sea turtle is decreasing, nest numbers in Florida as well as on St. Croix, USVI, and Culebra Island, Puerto Rico, increased over the past 20 years.

CT(s), DE(s), FL(b), GA(b), ME(s), MD(s), MA(s), NH(s), NY(s), NJ(s), NC(b), PR(b), RI(s), SC(b), VI(b), VA(s) ---

Florida manatee
Trichechus manatus latirostris
Boat collisions and habitat loss due to residential and commercial development have greatly reduced manatee populations. The manatee was listed as an endangered species in 1967. The population increased from 1,478 animals in 1991 to 2,812 in 2007.

AL(o), CT(o), DE(o), FL(b), GA(b), LA(o), MD(o), MS(o), NY(o), NJ(o), NC(o), RI(o), SC(o), TX(o), VA(o) ---

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

Banner photo © Phillip Colla