Humankind has not been all that kind to the animals that share our planet. We have hunted and encroached on the habitat of many species — to extinction. Though hunting is less common, encroachment and other environmental factors are increasing in severity, putting many animals at risk. The International Union for Conservation of Nature keeps a list of endangered animals and plants, and according to the organization, 20,000 species are at risk.
Until the U.S. Congress passed the Endangered Species Act in 1973, there was little official protection for animals in this country. Humans nearly wiped out the buffalo as Americans pushed the frontier to the west in the 19th century. Animals such as the passenger pigeon exist only in the pages of ornithological books.
With animal conservation and protection in mind, 24/7 Wall St. has compiled a list of the most threatened animals in every state. Exact counts of each state’s endangered animal populations were not available. So we chose as examples for each state two critically endangered species. We focused on species with habitats unique to the state. To help us compile this list, we reviewed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s listing of endangered animals in each state in the United States, the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of threatened species, and other sources.