Endangered species: where to find current information

by googler@evpl on Wednesday, October 6 2010, 5:44pm. Viewed 2,523 times.

image of endangered Gundlach's hawkWe've always found it difficult to collect print items that have current lists of endangered species. Thanks to the internet, we no longer have to.

For species that reside in the United States, the definitive source is the US Fish and Wildlife Service (the agency that enforces the Endangered Species Act). To access its list, which also includes threatened species, click on the "endangered species" list at the top of the front page. This list can be searched by location and species name.

For international coverage of threatened species, the most comprehensive list is from the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, who maintain a "red list" of threatened species, both plant and animal. The list currently includes information on about 45,000 species, which means some searching is necessary -- there's no A-Z of everything here. You'll probably do a keyword search (such as birds, or hawks), and then on the left, you can narrow by a number of options. Each option will open to list more, which you see by clicking on the plus signs.

The most important option in the left-hand menu is "assessment," because that's where designations of "vulnerable," "endangered," "critically endangered," etc. are listed. You can choose more than one category. The numbers after each category in the plus-sign menus are the number of species that option entails. (As an example, perhaps a depressing one, there are 562 species of birds that are either endangered or critically endangered.)

Another website, Earth's Endangered Creatures, is more user-friendly and makes an excellent effort to be current and accurate, but is not as official, and only lists animals.

For a smaller selection of endangered species, instead of a comprehensive list, you might be able to use the World Wildlife Fund's focus on "flagship species," which they define as the most iconic of the threatened animals.

The Library is adding new books and videos to the collection on endangered and threatened species on an ongoing basis, of course, but none that make a claim to being exhaustive. So websites like these perform an invaluable service.

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gawell@evpl wrote
on Monday, December 27 2010, 1:12pm

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change."

- Charles Darwin


Indiana has 25 threatened and endangered plant and animal species.

Animals -- 22

Status Listing

E Bat, gray ( Myotis grisescens)

E Bat, Indiana ( Myotis sodalis)

E Blossom, tubercled ( Epioblasma torulosa torulosa)

* It's a Pearly Mussel

E Butterfly, Karner blue ( Lycaeides melissa samuelis)

E Butterfly, Mitchell's satyr ( Neonympha mitchellii mitchellii)

E Catspaw, white ( Epioblasma obliquata perobliqua)

* Another species of Pearly Mussel

E Clubshell ( Pleurobema clava)

* More Mussel

T Eagle, bald (lower 48 States) ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

E Fanshell ( Cyprogenia stegaria)

* To its fish host, a fanshell larva looks like a worm. When the fish host attacks, the larva attaches itself to the gills, where it will grow into a juvenile fanshell. (Mussel)

E Mucket, pink ( Lampsilis abrupta)

* Mussel

E Pearlymussel, cracking ( Hemistena lata)

E Pearlymussel, white wartyback ( Plethobasus cicatricosus)

E Pigtoe, rough ( Pleurobema plenum)

* Mussel

E Pimpleback, orangefoot ( Plethobasus cooperianus)

* Mussel

E Plover, piping (Great Lakes watershed) ( Charadrius melodus)

* It's a Bird

T Plover, piping (except Great Lakes watershed) ( Charadrius melodus)

* A sparrow-size Bird

E Pocketbook, fat ( Potamilus capax)

* River dredging for irrigation and flood control threatens to destroy the only known population of this mussel.

E Puma, eastern ( Puma concolor couguar)

* Seeing a Puma outside their habitat is a bad sign because it means they were forced out of their habitat

E Riffleshell, northern ( Epioblasma torulosa rangiana)

* This mussel survives in less than 5 percent of its former range.

E Ring pink ( Obovaria retusa)

* Unless reproducing populations of this mussel are found or created, it will soon become extinct.

T Snake, copperbelly water (MI, OH, IN N of 40° N. Lat.) ( Nerodia erythrogaster neglecta)

E Tern, least (interior pop.) ( Sterna antillarum)

* A bird who is closely related to the Little Tern of the Old World. Other close relatives include the Yellow-billed Tern and Peruvian Tern, both from South America.

There are no Most Terns (yet) but there are Greater and Lesser Crested Terns.

Plants -- 3

Status Listing

T Milkweed, Mead's ( Asclepias meadii)

* It's a long-lived, tallgrass prairie herb, one response to

being threatened is to grow faster than it can be consumed,

it's the sole food source of monarch butterfly larvae

T Thistle, Pitcher's ( Cirsium pitcheri)

*  It's monocarpic; after flowering once, the plant dies

E Clover, running buffalo ( Trifolium stoloniferum)

* Requires periodic disturbance and a somewhat open habitat to successfully flourish, but it cannot tolerate full-sun, full-shade, or severe disturbance

Reason for decline of Mussels

At one time, the pink mucket was found to be present in twenty-six rivers in the Midwest and eastern United States.[2] The building of dams and reservoirs has caused the flooding of the habitats of the pink mucket.[4] It is reported that since the mussels have lost their habitats they are struck with the inability to reproduce as often as usual. This also affects the host fish. Deteriorating water quality and siltation also affects mussel populations.[1] Other practices, such as dredging, gravel mining, removal of trees, and undergrowth along the stream bank, and non-point source pollution from agriculture and urban areas, have contributed to the decline in the pink mucket as well.[2]

Steps to recovery

Many people do not realize the importance of mussels to the environment. Mussels are filter feeders that pump water through their siphons to collect food particles from the water.[2] They gather essential nutrients and remove unwanted toxins from the water.[2] Depending on the state, many organizations and conservationists, are making attempts to recover the pink mucket. Protection and management of the pink mucket is clearly related to managing the habitat and the water quality of the large rivers it depends upon.[1] For instance, some landowners report mussel poaching by calling their local conservation agents.[1] Others have already taken steps to recover the pink mucket. The state of Kentucky, where the pink mucket is also endangered, has created the Kentucky’s Wildlife Action Plan. This plan was developed by the state to help create priority conservation actions for the aquatic and wildlife that have become threatened and endangered species.[5] On July 2007, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources reared pink mucket mussels at the Center for Mollusk Conservation and released one thousand one hundred pink muckets in Green River.[5] The state will continue to work on the endangered species for the next several years in order to increase and even augment the current populations of mussels. The states of Tennessee and Alabama have designated mussel sanctuaries in parts of the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers and have also successfully reproduced populations at these locations.Devil The recovery of the pink mucket is expected to improve over the years, and it is very important that it does. The significance of pink muckets, and other freshwater mussels only helps to maintain cleaner waters that benefit both wildlife and people.