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States with the most endangered species

  • #10. North Carolina

    - Total endangered species: 67
    - Notable species:
    --- Appalachian elktoe (scientific name: Alasmidonta raveneliana, IUCN category: critically endangered)
    --- Carolina heelsplitter (scientific name: Lasmigona decorata, IUCN category: critically endangered)
    --- Cape Fear shiner (scientific name: Notropis mekistocholas, IUCN category: endangered)

    The Cape Fear shiner is found only in the Cape Fear River Basin in central North Carolina. It’s a small, golden-scaled minnow only about 2 inches long. The removal of a dam in 2005 allowed previously-isolated populations to come together and opened up an additional habitat, and removal of additional dams is being considered. However, it continues to be under threat from degraded water quality and invasive predatory fish.

  • #9. Arizona

    - Total endangered species: 69
    - Notable species:
    --- Bonytail (scientific name: Gila elegans, IUCN category: critically endangered)
    --- Apache trout (scientific name: Oncorhynchus apache, IUCN category: critically endangered)
    --- Three Forks springsnail (scientific name: Pyrgulopsis trivialis, IUCN category: critically endangered)

    The Apache trout is the state fish of Arizona and one of only two trout native to the state. Once abundant, their numbers declined due to competition from other species that were introduced for sport fishing and habitat degradation. The first conservation steps were taken in the mid-1950s, when only 30 miles of habitat remained and the White Mountain Apache tribe closed fishing on tribal lands. In 1969, they were one of the first species to be federally recognized as endangered, and in 1975, they were one of the first to have its status improved to threatened.



  • #8. Georgia

    - Total endangered species: 73
    - Notable species:
    --- Conasauga logperch (scientific name: Percina jenkinsi, IUCN category: critically endangered)
    --- Altamaha spinymussel (scientific name: Elliptio spinosa, IUCN category: endangered)
    --- Cherokee darter (scientific name: Etheostoma scotti, IUCN category: endangered)

    The Conasauga logperch is one of the rarest members of the darter family in North America, found only in a 27-mile stretch of one river. Their numbers declined dramatically in the 2000s for reasons that are unclear, but are thought to be related to recent changes in local agriculture. In the early 2010s, hundreds of captive bred individuals were released to augment the population, and subsequent surveying has shown that they are successfully surviving in the wild.


  • #7. Virginia

    - Total endangered species: 75
    - Notable species:
    --- Lee County cave isopod (scientific name: Lirceus usdagalun, IUCN category: endangered)
    --- Madison Cave isopod (scientific name: Antrolana lira, IUCN category: vulnerable)
    --- Shenandoah salamander (scientific name: Plethodon shenandoah, IUCN category: vulnerable)

    The Shenandoah salamander is unique to Virginia, found only on three mountains in Shenandoah National Park. Despite living in a protected area, it’s subject to many threats resulting from human activity: Habitat in the park is being affected by soil acidification and invasive species, and climate change is likely to alter the cool mountain conditions it requires. Research is underway to determine how best to protect the species.


  • #6. Texas

    - Total endangered species: 102
    - Notable species:
    --- Hinckley oak (scientific name: Quercus hinckleyi, IUCN category: critically endangered)
    --- Comanche Springs pupfish (scientific name: Cyprinodon elegans, IUCN category: endangered)
    --- Devils River minnow (scientific name: Dionda diaboli, IUCN category: endangered)

    The Hinckley oak is a short, shrubby, very ancient species—it is thought to have been common around 15,000 years ago when Texas had a wetter climate than it does today. Now its range is restricted to only three sites and it does not appear to be successfully reproducing in one of them.

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  • #5. Tennessee

    - Total endangered species: 106
    - Notable species:
    --- Chucky madtom (scientific name: Noturus crypticus, IUCN category: critically endangered)
    --- Cumberland pigtoe (scientific name: Pleurobema gibberum, IUCN category: critically endangered)
    --- Purple bean (scientific name: Villosa perpurpurea, IUCN category: critically endangered)

    The purple bean is a mussel named for the purple color on the inside of its shell. Freshwater mussels are affected by human activity that alters their habitat, including dam building and declining water quality. A captive breeding and reintroduction project is part of its recovery plan.

  • #4. Florida

    - Total endangered species: 133
    - Notable species:
    --- Fat threeridge (mussel) (scientific name: Amblema neislerii, IUCN category: critically endangered)
    --- American alligator (scientific name: Alligator mississippiensis, IUCN category: least concern)

    The American alligator has been around for 200 million years, but by the mid-20th century its numbers had dwindled because of people hunting for its hide. It was designated endangered in 1967, and became one of the first endangered species conservation successes in 1987, when it was declared fully recovered. It now thrives to the extent that sustainable harvesting is legal, the basis for a $14 million dollar industry in Florida.

  • #3. Alabama

    - Total endangered species: 143
    - Notable species:
    --- Pygmy sculpin (scientific name: Cottus paulus, IUCN category: critically endangered)
    --- Fanshell (scientific name: Cyprogenia stegaria, IUCN category: critically endangered)
    --- Dromedary pearlymussel (scientific name: Dromus dromas, IUCN category: critically endangered)

    The pygmy sculpin is unique to Alabama—in fact, found in just one place, Coldwater Spring. This tiny fish—just one and a half inches long—is one of the most-threatened species of fish in the state, largely due to the fact that it lives in just one place. While the water quality is currently still quite good, the surrounding area is at risk of loss of vegetation and other pressures that will affect it.


  • #2. California

    - Total endangered species: 282
    - Notable species:
    --- Catalina Island mountain-mahogany (scientific name: Cercocarpus traskiae, IUCN category: critically endangered)
    --- Delta green ground beetle (scientific name: Elaphrus viridis, IUCN category: critically endangered)
    --- Morro shoulderband snail (scientific name: Helminthoglypta walkeriana, IUCN category: critically endangered)

    The Delta green ground beetle is thought to have once been more widespread in California, but is now found only in one county in the San Francisco Bay area. They depend on vernal pools, which are temporary ponds that exist only in the rainy season and are important habitat for many species—for example, many amphibians depend on them for reproduction. This kind of habitat has declined due to agricultural use, natural gas exploration, other human impacts, and invasive plant species, and they are also illegally taken by collectors.


  • #1. Hawaii

    - Total endangered species: 502
    - Notable species:
    --- Mauna Loa silversword (scientific name: Argyroxiphium kauense, IUCN category: critically endangered)
    --- Kauai cave wolf or pe'e pe'e maka 'ole spider (scientific name: Adelocosa anops, IUCN category: endangered)
    --- Hawaiian duck (scientific name: Anas wyvilliana, IUCN category: endangered)

    The Hawaiian duck is unique to Hawaii. One unusual threat to this species is that it is hybridizing with closely-related domestic mallards that have been released into the wild. It’s also threatened by habitat loss and introduced predators, including rats, mongooses, dogs, and cats. Removal of feral mallards has kept one of its populations, on Kauai, fairly low in hybridization.

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