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Endangered America (Part 1): Ohio


The USA is the land of the free and the home of the brave. We are a nation made strong by the acclimation of traditions and beliefs from all over the world. In many ways we are still the “new world”, with untouched wild spaces and untapped natural resources. Whether you believe in American Exceptionalism or not, you have to admit that our country is unlike any other on Earth.

Unfortunately, while many of our citizens are afforded opportunity to grow and flourish, the same doesn’t hold true for all of our native wildlife. There are a number of endangered and threatened species in America that teeter on the brink of extinction. Many of them live in our own backyards, their impending destruction little more than a side effect of our continuous expansion.This multi-part series is meant to bring attention to these animals.  For today, lets focus on the endangered and threatened wildlife of Ohio (as listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.)

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The Indiana bat lives in caves and mines but can often be found foraging in forests and near rivers. Their reduced numbers are due to pesticides and forest clearing.  

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Much like their short-eared cousins the Northern Long-eared bat also makes its home in caves and mines but can be seen swarming nearby forests in the Autumn.

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Kirtland’s warbler is a tiny songbird that was named after an Ohio doctor and amateur naturalist. Climate change is to blame for their near extinction as warmer weather destroyed their traditional breeding grounds. 

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The Piping plover is a shorebird that has almost been wiped out thanks to human activity near their nesting and breeding grounds. Their feathers used to be considered high fashion and they nearly went extinct back in the early 20th century.

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The amphibious Copperbelly water snake mostly hunts fish and frogs. They’re becoming endangered due to waste drainage and pollution of their natural habitats.

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Classic Habitat loss is to blame for the slow disappearance of the Karner blue butterfly. These colorful flyers make their home in pine barrens and places with sandy soil.

These are just some of the endangered and threatened species of Ohio. If you want to lend your support to Ohio conservation efforts check out these organizations here.

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