When most of us hear the phrase "endangered species," we think about exotic animals that live on faraway continents, like black rhinos or tigers. We don't often think about the animals that live in our own backyards, and if we do, we don't consider their safety.
Surprisingly, our state is actually home to 67 different species of animals that are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. All of these creatures are protected under the authority of state law due to their struggle to survive.
Interested to know which endangered animals are living in North Texas? Here are some of the most endangered species that share this special area of the state with us.
This crane is the tallest species of North American bird and is usually identified by its unique "whooping" sound. Back in the 1940s, it was believed that there were only about 16 of these living birds alive. Now, the species has made an impressive comeback as more wetlands are protected in America. You might spot them on their way to the Gulf Coast of Texas.
Interior Least Tern:
Although these birds have made drastic steps towards repopulation, the species is still considered endangered by the government. They roost and build their nests near shallow estuaries and lagoons, where they can hunt small fish. If you're lucky, you might spot some breeding near the far north end of the state, or perhaps on the Texas coast.
This bird's loss of habitat has landed it on the endangered species list, but you'll still spot them occasionally when they arrive in Texas around March. They linger in our state until sometime in August, then head to eastern Mexico. Surprisingly, it's one of the only bird species that nests entirely in our Lone Star State.
This adorable little songbird has been listed as an endangered species ever since 1987. Thankfully, the species has made strides towards repopulation over the past few decades, but it is still threatened by the destruction of its habitats and the presence of deer and livestock. You can spot it from Oklahoma down into the deep south of Texas near Big Bend National Park.
Technically, these wolves don't call Texas home anymore. The living ones have been taken into captivity or re-introduced into the wild somewhere else in America ever since they faced extinction in the 1980s. Formerly, these wolves ranged throughout the eastern half of Texas, but now your chances of spotting one are incredibly slim. Still, a handful of people have claimed they saw a creature that looked like a red wolf in the southeast areas of the state, so perhaps this species will surprise us someday.
To see all of the creatures that are endangered or threatened in our state, click here.