Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Today, thousands of endangered species across the globe are on the verge of becoming extinct.Although conservation efforts have helped significantly to increase awareness, find sustainable resources, and re-establish endangered populations, there are still nearly 50 native species in the U.S. that are in critical danger of becoming extinct as a result of harmful human activities, such as hunting and fishing.
According to the World Wildlife Foundation, “Destructive human activities have led to the current rate of species extinction, which is at least 100–1,000 times higher than the expected natural rate.”
Using the Red List of Endangered Species, we’ve tracked down the most endangered species in America.
Today, a small population of the Red Wolf, which was believed to be extinct in the 1970s, can be found in North Carolina.
The Cui-ui disappeared from their habitat in Nevada's Pyramid Lake in the 1930's after the river dried up. Today, they can be found on the lower Truckee River during spawning season between March and June and in Pyramid Lake for the rest of the calendar year.
Although the Shortnose Cisco used to flourish in Lake Superior, Michigan, and Lake Ontario and was popular for commercial use in the 1940s, currently there is only a small population of the species that exists in the Georgian Bay of Lake Huron.
The small Pygmy Sculpin dwells only in Coldwater Spring, Alabama. It's population has decreased dramatically over time as gravid females are continually captured.
The Leon Springs Pupfish, a native Texan species, began disappearing after the Leon Springs were pumped dry. Today, they dwell in Diamond Y Spring.
The once sprawling Pecos Pupfish, which thrived in the Pecos River from New Mexico to Texas before 1980, now only has a small remaining pure breed found in the Bitter Lake Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico.
The Leatherback Turtle, the largest in the world, can be found across the globe; however, it's population has steadily decreased since the 1980's, especially in the Pacific Ocean.
Speckled Hind can be found in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico; however, they face an increasing threat of becoming extinct as a result of high catch-and-release mortality rates.
The 21-inch-long Florida Bonnet Bat, the biggest in Florida, was thought to be extinct in 2002, until a small population of approximately 100 bats were rediscovered in Fort Myers.
The Chihuahua Chub, a native species of Mexico has become threatened as a result of increased flooding and a lack of riverbank vegetation.
The Bog Turtle population has declined rapidly throughout the 21st century, but is currently stabilised in well managed habitation sites across the Southeast.
The last verified sighting of the Nukupuu was in 1996 at Hanawi, Maui; scientists believe it is possibly extinct.
The Black Grouper, also referred to as the Warsaw Grouper and the Black Jewfish, thrives in the Southwest, Northwest, and central Atlantic. The population has become increasingly rare as a result of catch-and-release mortality rates.
The Mexican Ridley, a native species of the United States and Mexico, currently lives in a small population along the Gulf of Mexico that has thrived as a result of significant Conservation efforts.
The White River Spinedace, a species that has become increasingly endangered since the 1980s, currently resides in Nevada 's Wayne E. Kirch Wildlife Management Area.
Although the Dusky Gopher Frog was once found in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, today the species only thrives in three pond locations in Mississippi as a result of decreasing wetland area.
The Ramsey Canyon Leopard Frog, a native of Arizona named for its habitat in the Ramsey and Brown Canyons located on the east side of the Huachuca Mountain, is currently only verified at five main sites
The Akekee, a native of the Hawaiian islands that thrives in elevated forest area, has dropped in population as a result of region development, increasing temperatures, and the possibly the risk of malaria and avian pox spread from mosquitos
The Black-faced Honeycreeper, a native bird that dwells in the elevated Ko'olau Forest Reserve, is threatened by harmful species that have invaded the region over time, such as mosquitos.
The Moapa Dace has declined over time as a result of nonnative fish being introduced to the Muddy River System in Nevada. Today, conservation efforts have separated and secured the small Moapa population to increase its chance of survival.
Although protection efforts have been made to save Hawaiian Monk Seals, the rare species native to the Northwestern Hawaiian islands, have decreased significantly over time as a result of humans occupying their coastal area and local predators.
The Olomao, also referred to as the Hawaiian Thrush, has not has a verified siting in its remote native habitat, Oloku'i Plateau, since 1980.
Although there have been recovery plans installed to protect the native Small Kauai Thrush, it has been listed as critically endangered since 1994.
The Caribbean Electric Ray use to flourish across North Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico; however, their population has declined significantly as a result of fishing activities
The Cahaba Shiner, a fish indigenous to Alabama, takes its name after its habitat in the Cahaba River, but has rapidly been declining due to water pollution and strip mining in Piney Woods.
The Cape Fear Shiner, a native of North Carolina, can be found in the eastern Piedmont region of North Carolina in the Cape Fear River basin; however, its population has decreased over time as a result of dam construction.
The Smoky Madtom, a fish native to Tennessee, was believed to be extinct in 1960; however after a population was discovered in 1980, a conservation effort has re-established the species in Abrams Creek.
The Scioto Madtom, a native fish of Ohio, is believed to possibly be extinct; it has not been observed since 1957.
The Eskimo Curlew, which thrived in Canada and New England, declined rapidly at the turn of the 20th century as a result of hunting mortality rates and loss of their indigenous prairies.
The Apache Trout, Arizona's state fish, declined during the 1900's when non-native species were introduced in the White Mountain Lakes for commercial fishing opportunities, but have since returned through extensive conservation efforts.
The Akohekohe is threatened by the reduction of their habitat and harmful non-native species, such as disease-carrying mosquitos
The rare Oahu Alauahio once was commonly distributed throughout the north Hälawa Valley, but today habitat loss and competing birds that were introduced into their territory threaten their survival.
The Wide Sawfish once thrived in the North Atlantic from North Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico, but today they are rapidly decreasing as a result of altered habitats and net fishing practices.
The Largetooth Sawfish used to dwell in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida; however, fishing practices and particularly net capture, have led to the decline of these species.
The 'O'u, a bird that dwells in elevated forests on the Big Island in Hawaii has a drastically reduced population as a result of avian diseases, competition with other species, and hunting.
The Alabama Sturgeon is currently declining as a result of fishing practices, loss of its natural habitat due to commercialization, and low population which yields low reproduction rates.
The Bocaccio Rockfish, a Pacific Coast dweller, is currently declining particularly in Vancouver as a result of commercial fishing; however, the current population is unknown.
The Alabama Cavefish population is currently decreasing likely because of limited reproduction rates, decreasing ground water levels, and an altered ground water drainage system.
The Giant Sea Bass was severely exploited in Mexico and California; however, conservation efforts have helped increase population levels.
The Flattened Musk Turtle indigenous to Alabama is rapidly decreasing due to habitat loss, environmental pollution, and disease outbreak.
The Nihoa Finch, which used to occupy the Main Hawaiian islands, has gradually begun disappearing due to habitat loss and competitive animals introduced to the area.
The Southern Bluefin Tuna, a native of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans has declined due to commercial long-lining fishing practices common in the Indian Ocean.
The Native California Island Fox faces major threats from canine diseases, environment variability and predation from the Golden Eagle population.
The Bachman Warbler, a bird was prevalent throughout Arkansas, Missouri, South Carolina, Alabama, and Kentucky, is now at risk of extinction most likely because of altered swamp land and habitat deterioration.
The Razorback Sucker used to be prevalent throughout the Colorado River Basin, but has declined drastically due to a modified habitat and predation from non-native species added to the basin.
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