USA: endangered animal species in California

This video from the USA says about itself:

In the old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest, northern spotted owls face an aggressive competitor and new plans to remove protection for their habitat.


The state of California is home to 129 animals that are classified as threatened or endangered under the US Endangered Species Act.

The US Endangered Species Act (ESA) was established in 1973 to protect endangered and threatened species and the ecosystems on which they depend.

Some of California’ endangered species include:

California condor (Gymnogyps californianus)
Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis caurina)
Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis)

Find out more: here.

Wilderness protection in the USA: here.

Forests in the USA: here.

2 thoughts on “USA: endangered animal species in California

  1. Dear Friend of wildlife,

    In the 1960s, there were fewer than 500 breeding pairs of bald eagles in the lower 48 states. That’s why this symbolic bird was placed under the protection of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1978. Today, eagle numbers are estimated at 7,066 pairs. What a comeback! In fact, this is one of the greatest wildlife success stories of the last 25 years! It means the Act is working the way it was intended.

    Because of these encouraging results, the Department of the Interior (DOI) is expected to remove the bald eagle from the endangered species list this June. National Wildlife Federation supports the delisting of the bald eagle…

    …but we have one major concern.

    The Act requires that before the bald eagle is de-listed, the DOI must ensure a plan is in place to prevent the bald eagle population from backsliding. But incredibly, just the reverse is true. Biologists say the government’s plans for protecting more than 14,000 bald eagles after they leave the list are inadequate (click here for more information).

    After years of successful work by so many dedicated scientists and volunteers to save the bald eagle, critical safeguards would now be forgotten and trashed. And developers would ride rough-shod over the bald eagles’ essential nesting sites…and the downward trend would start all over again. What a tragedy this would be!

    We must make sure this doesn’t happen.



  2. Bighorn sheep may lose habitat

    By Leslie Carlson | Los Angeles Times
    September 7, 2008

    RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Wildlife biologist Aimee Byard took it as a hopeful sign when she spotted 11 bighorn lambs, including a rare set of twins, nibbling encelia and ambrosia high above the multimillion-dollar homes of Rancho Mirage this spring. But as fall approaches, biologists such as Byard are concerned that the peninsular bighorn sheep soon may lose some of the protection that has helped this endangered species survive.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working on the final details of a map that would cut by nearly half the habitat previously considered critical to the species’ survival. The plan could be approved by the end of this month.

    Scientists and environmental advocates say the downsized habitat could deal a permanent setback to a species that has had 10 years of federal protection. They accuse the Department of the Interior, which governs Fish and Wildlife, of mixing politics with science, caving in to mining and tribal interests. One mining operation already has applied to expand its operation into land once listed as critical to the sheep’s recovery, documents show.

    “The Recovery Plan … has been working,” said Mark Jorgensen, supervisor of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, who has worked with bighorn sheep for 40 years. “Why take out 500,000 acres of it and say that it’s not a big deal? And that it’s based on science? Why not come out and say that it’s just politics?”

    Jane Hedron, a spokeswoman for the Wildlife Service, defended the new boundaries as sufficient to help the species recover. “Critical habitat is habitat considered essential for the recovery of the endangered species,” she said. “It is not intended to include the entire range of a species.”

    The secretary of the interior, she said, has the legal discretion to exclude critical habitat, “if there is a really pronounced economic impact.”

    Peninsular bighorn sheep once ranged from Mexico to the San Jacinto Mountains above Palm Springs. By 1998, development had drastically reduced that range and isolated some populations. As a result, the population had dropped by nearly 75 percent from 1974. By then, fewer than 300 sheep remained. Federal officials declared the species endangered in 1998, and three years later, biologists drew a map of the territory they believed would be needed to help the species recover.

    Not everyone agreed with the biologists. In March 2005, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians filed a lawsuit saying that federal officials had ignored economic effects and used flawed methods to map critical habitat in 2001. They soon were joined by building organizations, mining interests and a small group of Palm Springs equestrians.

    “We participated in that bighorn sheep recovery plan. We asked them not to designate tribal land as critical habitat,” said Tom Davis, chief planning and development officer for the tribe, which owns 31,500 acres within the habitat boundaries.

    “We were ignored by the committee, so we sued.”

    When the Interior Department settled with the tribe in 2006, it invalidated the 2001 critical habitat and gave the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service two years to gather data and redraw it.

    Advocates for the bighorn sheep were shocked when the Fish and Wildlife Service finished its study and issued a map that cut the critical habitat by nearly half and left two populations isolated.

    “I’m not happy with it. We had contiguous habitat … now there are three islands,” said Esther Rubin, a member of the original Peninsular Bighorn Recovery Team.

    Jim De Forge of the Bighorn Institute in Palm Desert said he worried that the development pressing into the former habitat would reverse the gains made by the group’s captive-breeding program and other efforts to increase the bighorn population.

    Bighorn sheep are easily disturbed by human activities and are particularly susceptible to communicable diseases carried by pets and livestock. In the 1980s, De Forge said, 90 percent of lambs were dying from disease. From 1998 to 2001, 43 percent of lambs died from “urbanization,” which includes automobile collisions, poisoning from ornamental plants, predation from increased coyote populations and illnesses caused by parasites common to residential development.

    One population, known as the San Jacinto group, has only 13 ewes and is threatened by a proposed housing development. At the same time, U.S. Gypsum Co. is applying for permits to expand its Imperial County operations into former critical habitat, according to the Bureau of Land Management.


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