Not all endangered animals have their own PR firms to save them. Many are living humble lives outside the limelight. A new poster campaign, commissioned by NetCredit, aims to draw attention to these underdogs in the conservation movement.
According to Luke Doyle, who worked on the campaign, “The research team gathered data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to build a long list of species that are flagged as ‘endangered’ or ‘threatened’ in every state of the U.S. The team then shortlisted the top populations at risk of extinction in each state, making sure that there were no duplicated species, as in some cases, certain states are home to the same populations. When finding a species that had been shortlisted already but was repeated in two or more states, we moved forward with the next domestic species on the list for the state we were working on.”
Here’s an assortment of these endangered and threatened animals from different regions of the US. See the full list of endangered animals in every state here.
Arkansas: ivory-billed woodpecker
Logging decimated the home of the ivory-billed woodpecker, which was first reported extinct in 1944. However, occasional reported sightings give hope that a small population still lives on.
California: Point Arena mountain beaver
This primitive rodent is called a “living fossil.” They live underground, surfacing to eat stinging nestles and thistles. Agriculture, roads and recreational use of land threaten what’s left of their habitat.
Illinois: cave amphipod
An Illinois original, this gray amphipod lives in cold water, shunning light. Extremely sensitive, this little crustacean is very susceptible to pesticides and other human-made chemicals. Scientists are working to restore the population by 2023.
Indiana: Indiana bat
Pollution and commercial caving threaten the Indiana bat, endangered since 1967. More recently, white-nose syndrome has killed many more while they hibernate in limestone caves.
Louisiana: Louisiana pine snake
As pine forests are logged, this point-nosed snake loses its habitat. The Louisiana pine snake is non-venomous and grows up to a meter and a half long. Conservationists estimate their population at a few thousand.
Missouri: Ozark hellbender
This curved salamander can live up to 50 years — if they can survive poaching, contaminated water and habitat loss. They hang out under rocks during the day, breathing through their skin. At night, they hunt insects and crayfish.
New Jersey: Sei whale
This mysterious 60-foot baleen whale likes the deep water far from coastlines. Until commercial whaling ended in 1987, the Sei whale was fair game. They’re seldom seen, but still occasionally get caught in fishing gear.
North Carolina: Carolina northern flying squirrel
Only found in North Carolina, southwest Virginia and Tennessee, this ice-age flying squirrel is struggling to survive pollution and climate change.
Pennsylvania: short-eared owl
These owls nest in grassy areas, such as around the Philadelphia Airport. Developers and agricultural practices threaten their remaining nesting places.
South Dakota: black-footed ferret
The only ferret native to North America, fewer than 500 are left in South Dakota. These members of the weasel family rely on prairie dogs for food — and prairie dog populations are also decreasing.
Images via NetCredit and Ryan Moehring of USFWS