The Most Endangered Wildlife in Every US State
Thousands of endangered species around the world are on the brink of extinction. And human beings are bio-diversity’s greatest enemy: we’re responsible for the endangered status of 99% of at-risk species.
A handful of conservationists have been hard at work changing the story for a number of endangered populations. But in the U.S., hundreds of species are still fighting a losing battle for survival.
We’ve created a series of posters celebrating the wildlife that each State could lose forever.
The ‘Akikiki, AKA the Kaua’i Creeper, has struggled in the face of avian malaria and avian pox. Unfortunately, climate change is just making these mosquito-borne illnesses more common. Other animals, such as cats and dogs, that humans have introduced to the islands are doing further damage. With less than 500 left in the wild, you’re just as likely to spot a conservationist hand-feeding an ‘akikiki chick as a family of the birds foraging together among the trees.
There may be as few as three woodland caribou left in the contiguous United States – and all of those recently spotted have been female. The South Selkirk herd of these magnificent, 600lb creatures feeds on the lichen of centuries-old trees. Aggressive logging strategies have left them with little to eat, and now it seems it is too late. Experts have no idea if there are any calves on the way. With many years needed for the forests to grow back into a worthy habitat, the entire continent is now looking north in the hope that the dwindling numbers of Canadian woodland caribou may be saved.
This tiny, silver-gray crustacean exists only in Illinois, in the cold water and away from the light. It’s so sensitive to contamination that you can actually rely on the presence of the amphipod to indicate the quality of the water in a cave system. This also means that pesticides and other human detritus in the water have significantly lessened the amphipod’s number. It is forbidden to injure or kill the little creature; other research and protection strategies have been set up in the hope of restoring the Illinois cave amphipod by the year 2023. The Indiana bat has been considered endangered since 1967, following the influence of commercial caving and pollution. They hibernate in limestone caves, or – vampire-like – beneath the bark of dead trees. The last few years have seen their remaining numbers devastated by ‘white-nose syndrome,’ a fungus that affects bats while they hibernate. Over a million bats have died this way since 2006.
It wasn’t until 1987 that commercial whaling of this 60-foot baleen whale came to an end. They swim deep and far from coastlines, and have not been spotted in New Jersey recently – although, despite their size, it’s hard to tell if they’re there! Similarly, it is difficult to know if the sei whale is now recovering from its depleted numbers. They still get caught up with boats and fishing gear, while the noise from shipping and other man made disturbances such as naval sonar can be disturbing and damaging to these massive creatures.
The smallest of all rabbits, pygmy rabbits are understandably prey to a range of creatures, from bobcats to owls. Only 50% of bunnies make it home during the first five weeks of their lives! But the pygmy rabbit’s numbers have plummeted due to the loss of its natural habitat. They rely on sagebrush for both food and shelter. The last purebred Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit died ten years ago, and wildlife services are working hard to increase crossbreed numbers and redistribute them to the wild.