From: Alicia Graef, Care2
Published November 25, 2015 06:27 AM

These 10 Endangered Species are Running Out of Room to Roam


It’s never been easier for us to get where we want to go, but our growing transportation systems mixed with development are taking a serious toll on wildlife, from tiny amphibians to large mammals, and pushing some who are already in danger of disappearing even closer to the brink.

A new report from the Endangered Species Coalition, No Room to Roam: 10 American Species in Need of Connectivity and Corridor, focuses on imperiled species who need just what the title says: room to roam.

Without the ability to move freely across the landscape to find mates, food and habitat to make a home, many species aren’t going to be able to survive. Unfortunately, development has continued to pose a threat by destroying their homes and cutting off safe corridors and migration routes for them to travel, essentially leaving them marooned on small islands.

The species in most need were nominated by member organizations and selected by scientists. While large mammals unsurprisingly made the list, they’re not the only ones running out of space – insects, birds, fish and plants are also suffering as a result of shrinking habitat across the nation.

While some who are included like Yellowstone’s isolated population of grizzly bears, Florida panthers who continue to face the risk of deadly collisions with cars, a small population of Mexican gray wolves relegated to recovery areas in Arizona and New Mexico, and the lesser prairie chicken who has caused a stir over endangered species protection, have garnered attention from the public, others have received far less.

Also included are spotted turtles, Karner blue butterflies, pallid sturgeons, California tiger salamanders, Palilas – finch-billed honeycreepers, eastern prairie fringed orchids and Chinook salmon.

While seeing these species slowly disappear is tragic, their losses will also cause a ripple through the ecosystem impacting others. Chinook salmon being harmed by dams in the Pacific Northwest provide a perfect example, with their low numbers impacting endangered southern resident killer whales, who rely on them as their main food source.

“Habitat loss and fragmentation are the biggest drivers of species decline and extinction,” said Leda Huta, executive director of the Endangered Species Coalition. 

Continue reading at ENN affiliate, Care2.

Grizzly bear image via Shutterstock.