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States with the most endangered species

  • #38. Idaho (tie)

    - Total endangered species: 15
    - Notable species:
    --- Bruneau hot springsnail (scientific name: Pyrgulopsis bruneauensis, IUCN category: critically endangered)
    --- Northern Idaho ground squirrel (scientific name: Urocitellus brunneus, IUCN category: endangered)
    --- Bull trout (scientific name: Salvelinus confluentus, IUCN category: vulnerable)

    The bull trout is a migratory fish that is native to Canada and the Pacific Northwest. They prefer cold, clean water, so are most often found in high mountain areas and can be quite large—the state record is 32 pounds. They’re threatened by competition from introduced species, blocked migratory routes, and habitat degradation, and while it’s still legal to fish for them, they must be released.

  • #38. Kansas (tie)

    - Total endangered species: 15
    - Notable species:
    --- Neosho madtom (scientific name: Noturus placidus, IUCN category: near threatened)

    The Neosho madtom is a tiny catfish, around 3 inches long. There are only four populations of the species left in the wild, and they are found mainly in the Neosho River in Kansas. They prefer swift shallow streams lined with gravel, and have been affected by gravel mining, dams, and runoff from feedlots. While certain areas in Kansas have been designated as critical habitats, there has been little other action to conserve the species.

  • #38. Wyoming (tie)

    - Total endangered species: 15
    - Notable species:
    --- Wyoming toad (scientific name: Bufo hemiophrys baxteri)
    --- Kendall Warm Springs dace (scientific name: Rhinichthys osculus thermalis)
    --- Desert yellowhead (scientific name: Yermo xanthocephalus)

    Once abundant in the Laramie Plains of Wyoming, populations of the Wyoming toad crashed in the 1970s, and by the 1990s the species was thought to be nearly extinct. What were believed to be the last of the species were brought into a captive breeding program in 1993. Tens of thousands of captive-bred tadpoles and young toads have been released, but the wild population is not yet thought to be self-sustaining.

  • #35. Montana (tie)

    - Total endangered species: 16
    - Notable species:
    --- Meltwater lednian stonefly (scientific name: Lednia tumana)
    --- Western glacier stonefly (scientific name: Zapada glacier

    Stoneflies are aquatic and are unusual among insects, in that they emerge as adults in winter and early spring. These two species require very cold water and are found at high elevations, close to the source of melting snow and ice. This means that they are threatened by climate change: For example, most of the remaining glaciers where they are found in Glacier National Park are predicted to be gone by 2030.

  • #35. New Jersey (tie)

    - Total endangered species: 16
    - Notable species:
    --- Knieskern's beaked-rush (scientific name: Rhynchospora knieskernii)

    The Knieskern's beaked-rush, a member of the sedge family, is unique to New Jersey. It lives in wetland habitats and as one of the first species to colonize bare ground, is intolerant of competition from other plants and is often found in areas disturbed by human activity, such as ditches and clay pits. As of May, New Jersey legislators were considering a bill that would give additional protections to endangered plants in the state.

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  • #35. Pennsylvania (tie)

    - Total endangered species: 16
    - Notable species:
    --- Northeastern bulrush (scientific name: Scirpus ancistrochaetus, IUCN category: near threatened)
    --- Clubshell (scientific name: Pleurobema clava, IUCN category: critically endangered)

    The clubshell is a small mussel that lives buried in the sand and gravel at the bottom of streams. Its range has been reduced by 95%. As a sedentary filter-feeder, it’s sensitive to anything that disturbs the substrate or water quality, so it’s affected by human activity, including development and agricultural runoff. It’s also threatened by the accidentally-introduced non-native zebra mussel, which reproduces more quickly and suffocates them.


  • #34. Massachusetts

    - Total endangered species: 17
    - Notable species:
    --- Northeastern bulrush (scientific name: Scirpus ancistrochaetus, IUCN category: near threatened)
    --- Plymouth redbelly turtle (scientific name: Pseudemys rubriventris bangsi)
    --- Northeastern beach tiger beetle (scientific name: Cicindela dorsalis dorsalis)

    The northeastern beach tiger beetle spends its whole life on ocean beaches, preferring undisturbed locations with fine sand and natural dune systems. The larvae are voracious feeders that live in burrows that they move according to the season, where they lie in wait to lunge at prey including sand flies. Once abundant from Massachusetts to Virginia, the species is now found only at the extremes of its former range, including just three sites in Massachusetts. It’s threatened by shoreline development and recreational use of beaches, as well as pollution and erosion due to climate change.


  • #33. Iowa

    - Total endangered species: 18
    - Notable species:
    --- Rusty patched bumble bee (scientific name: Bombus affinis, IUCN category: critically endangered)
    --- Dakota skipper (scientific name: Hesperia dacotae, IUCN category: endangered)
    --- Higgins eye (pearlymussel) (scientific name: Lampsilis higginsii, IUCN category: endangered)

    While there’s plenty of news about the plight of the beloved honeybee, it’s less often noted that it is an introduced non-native species, managed by humans much like livestock. North America has many species of native bees that are also in trouble. The rusty patched bumble bee is one that is critically endangered. Once found across much of the U.S., its habitat has been reduced by farming and development, and it is likely affected by pesticides, disease, and climate change.

  • #32. Minnesota

    - Total endangered species: 19
    - Notable species:
    --- Minnesota dwarf trout lily (scientific name: Erythronium propullans)
    --- Leedy's roseroot (scientific name: Rhodiola integrifolia ssp. leedyi)

    The Minnesota dwarf trout lily is unique to the state—in fact it’s found on only 600 acres in a few counties. This spring-blooming woodland wildflower has probably always been rare, so conservation efforts focus on protecting its existing habitat from development, erosion, and human activity. About half of the sites where it is found are on protected land, but many populations are on private land held by owners that have agreed to protect this unique species.


  • #31. Oklahoma

    - Total endangered species: 20
    - Notable species:
    --- Ouachita rock pocketbook (scientific name: Arkansia wheeleri)
    --- Ozark big-eared bat (scientific name: Corynorhinus townsendii ingens)

    The Ozark big-eared bat is a subspecies of the Townsend’s big-eared bat that is found only in a few places in Oklahoma and Arkansas. It does not migrate and lives in caves year-round, so it is threatened by human disturbance, especially while it hibernates in the winter, which may cause a bat to lose too much of its body weight to survive until spring. Conservation efforts have included installing steel gates to keep people out of caves that are homes to their colonies.

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