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Thursday, December 1, 2016

United States Endangered Species

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ for the UNITED STATES in North America lists a total of 279 extinct and extinct-in-the-wild species, 462 critically endangered species, and 406 endangered species. Critically endangered species in the United States include the Akikiki bird (endemic in Hawaii), Alabama Lamp Pearly Mussel (endemic to Alabama), Appalachian Elktoe mussel, Chucky Madtom (endemic to Tennessee), Climbing Alsinidendron plant, Clusterspike False Indigo, Cracking Pearly Mussel, Dusky Gopher Frog, Eskimo Curlew bird, Florida Nutmeg Tree (endemic to Florida and Georgia), Giant Sea Bass, Golf Stick Pearly Mussel, Hiddenpetal Indian Mallow, Kanab Amber Snail, Kau Silversword plant, Magazine Mountain Middle-toothed Snail (endemic to Arkansas), Millerbird, Laysan Duck (increasing population in Hawaii), Nihoa Finch, Opaque Pebblesnail, Razorback Sucker fish, Santa Monica Shieldback Katydid, Shelta Cave Crayfish, Southern Pigtoe Mussel. Endangered species include the American Eel, Black-spotted Newt, Escambia Crayfish, Four-petal Pawpaw tree (endemic to Florida), Fraser Fir tree, Golden Tilefish, Hawaiian Duck, Nelson's Antelope Squirrel, No-Eyed Big-Eyed Wolf Spider*, Nuttall's Lotus flower, Sacramento Beetle, Tricolored Blackbird, Tumbling Creek Cavesnail, Weller's Salamander, Yosemite Bog Orchid, and Yosemite Park Toad. Despite experiencing difficulties relating to acid in rain and infestation by the Balsam Woolly Adelgid insect, Fraser fir trees are able to thrive outside its native Appalachian region habitat since they are widely planted for the Christmas tree industry.

* These rather scary arachnids lack eyes (similar on-the-surface wolf spiders do have eyes) and are therefore nicknamed Blind Spiders by Hawaiian locals. Of course, having "no-eyed" and "big-eyed" in the name is basically an oxymoron! If you despise contradictions, there is an alternative name: Kaua'i Cave Wolf Spider.

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