Vanishing Wildlife: Ten American Species Our Children May Never See is a report from the Endangered Species Coalition. Learn more about our work and ways you can take action to protect endangered species at www.endangered.org and @endangered on Twitter.
Vanishing Wildlife: Ten American Species Our Children May Never See
Ten American Species
Our Children May
Photo Credit: GrabillCreative
Ninety-five percent of the Sierra Nevada and Southern California mountain yellow-legged frog
populations have gone extinct due to human degradation of their habitats. Lakes we’ve stocked with
trout are devoid of tadpoles, and pesticide contamination causes mutations, sterility, and death.
More than 1,800 species of frogs currently face extinction.
Photo Credit: Adam Backlin
Mountain Yellow-legged Frog
Monarch butterflies are totally dependent on milkweed for survival, but the wide-spread use of
pesticides such as RoundupTM is killing off milkweed across hundreds of acres of the monarch’s core
summer habitat. Illegal logging in their Mexican winter refuge further imperils the monarch’s survival.
Photo Credit: Derek Goldman
North Pacific Right Whale
The North Pacific right whale is the most endangered whale on Earth; there may be only thirty left
in U.S. waters. Lack of genetic diversity and diminishing food sources due to climate change are
major threats, but human activities—oil spills, ship strikes, and the Navy’s live sonar testing—may
be sounding the death knell for this marine mammal.
Photo Credit: Jim Scarff
Great White Shark
Only about 350 adult great white sharks remain off the coasts of California and Mexico. Hunting
these sharks is illegal, but hundreds of young sharks are inadvertently caught in fishing nets and
die each year. Great white sharks are the largest predatory fish and are important to maintaining
balance in their ocean ecosystem.
Photo Credit: Solarseven
Little Brown Bat
Little brown bats are in peril due to white-nose syndrome, an illness caused by a deadly fungus from
Europe. These bats are virtually extinct in their core Northeast range, and to 99 percent have died in
affected areas. Weakened immune systems due to pesticide exposure and human disturbance in their
caves are also factors in their demise.
Photo Credit: Ivan Kuzmin
Whitebark pine forests used to be plentiful high in the Rockies, but climate change has allowed beetle
infestations and fungal disease to destroy these trees. More than 100 species depended on this pine for
shelter and food, and the pine’s shading limbs regulated snow melt well into summer.
Photo Credit: Christine Wilcox
Rusty Patched Bumblebee
The rusty patched bumblebee is a critical pollinator. Its “buzz pollination” produces tomatoes that are
consistently larger and sweeter than those produced by other pollination techniques. The rusty patched
bumblebee is threatened by diseases from commercial bumble bees. All bumblebees face threats from
the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on plants that can even make their nectar and pollen toxic.
Photo Credit: Sarina Jepsen
The greater sage-grouse’s habitat once encompassed nearly 300 million acres, but their range has
declined dramatically as humans have moved in to drill and graze livestock. Hundreds of miles of roads
have fragmented sage-grouse populations, which are in peril due to our aggressive degradation of their
Photo Credit: Steve Fairbairn/USFWS
Polar bears are entirely dependent on ice for fishing, and a large adult requires an average of 4 to
5 pounds of seal blubber every day just to maintain its weight. But as climate change alters their
habitat, they are being forced inland for denning, breeding, and feeding.
Photo Credit: ekvals
Snake River Sockeye Salmon
Federal dams block the lower Snake River, making it almost impossible for these salmon to migrate to
their spawning grounds high in the Rocky Mountains. These are the most endangered salmon in the
world, but scientists agree that they can make a comeback if the river is unblocked so they can
complete their life cycle by migrating to and from Redfish Lake .
Photo Credit: Fish Eye Guy Photography