Back to Nature (Published on - Feb. 9, 2005)
We may never see them again. What can you do?
How many endangered or threatened species can you list from around the world: tigers, lemurs, gorillas, pandas, snow leopards?

Most informed people are familiar with these species but they are but a fragment of the whole. What do you think is the grand total of endangered and threatened species? How many species are endangered or threatened on this planet? How many species are endangered or threatened in North America, the United States or in our own state of Florida?

The statistics are overwhelming. According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife, more than 1,200 listed species are endangered or threatened in the United States. In Florida alone there are 111 species listed. Worldwide the figures are staggering. As of Sept. 8, 2004, more than 1,800 species were listed as endangered or threatened to never be seen again by future generations.

These figures are hard to comprehend and some will say, “Yes, but those statistics include things like lichen and worms. What do I care about lichen and worms?”

I hear this response frequently. Well, first off let’s consider who or what eats lichen and worms, but then consider these facts published by the USFW on endangered or threatened worldwide:

• Total of 346 mammals
• Total of 272 birds
• Total of 115 reptiles
• Total of 20 amphibians
• Total of 125 fishes
• Total of 186 clams, snails, insects, arachnids and crustaceans

Animal subtotal of 1,074 species listed

• Total of 749 flowering plants, conifers and cycads, ferns and allies, lichens (two species)

Information and lists can be found on several Web sites. Please take the time to check them out:; takeaction.;; and

Although daily immersed in this subject I still find the enormity of it all shocking. I’m betting that you may want to take a second look at what we are doing to our planet and feel the urgency that we must all become involved immediately even if it is extinguishing one small flame.

What can you do?

Once, when I held my head in my hands in despair, it’s just too big. I can’t do it all; my Cherokee grandmother shared this wisdom: “Fight a fire one flame at a time.”

Here are some suggestions. Join a reputable environmental group such as: Sierra Club, Audubon, WWF, Nature Federation, Nature Conservancy, BE INFORMED! Take your informed mind to the voting stations.

Fight one flame at a time back to nature.

Below is the list of endangered animals (excluding birds) and not listing threatened species.



Order Primates

Hairy-eared dwarf lemur (Allocebus trichotis)

Golden bamboo lemur (Hapalemur aureus)

Broad-nosed gentle lemur (Hapalemur simus)

Golden-crowned sifaka (Propithecus tattersalli)

Black-faced lion tamarin (Leontopithecus caissara)

Golden-rumped lion tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysopygus)

Golden lion tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia)

Yellow-tailed woolly monkey (Lagothrix flavicauda)

Mentawai macaque (Macaca pagensis)

Tonkin snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus avunculus)

White-rumped black lemur (Trachypithecus delacouri)

Silvery gibbon (Hylobates moloch)

Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla)

Pygmy chimpanzee/

Bonobo (Pan paniscus)

Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)

Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus)

Order Carnivora

Red wolf (Canis rufus)

Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis)

Tiger (Panthera tigris)

Snow leopard (Uncia uncia)

Marine otter (Lutra felina)

Steller’s sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus)

Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus)

Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)

Lesser panda (Ailurus fulgens)

Order Proboscidea

Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)

African elephant (Loxodonta africana)

Order Perissodactyla

African wild ass (Equus africanus)

Grevy’s zebra (Equus grevyi)

Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)

Black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis)

Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus)

Great Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis)

Order Cetacea

Northern right whale (Eubalaena glacialis)

Sei whale (Balen-optera borealis)

Blue whale (Balen-optera musculus)

Fin whale (Balen-optera physalus)

Vaquita (Phoncoena sinus)

Baiji (Lipotes vexillifer)

Ganges River dolphin (Platanista gangetica)

Indus River dolphin (Platanista minor)

Order Artiodactyla

Visayan warty pig (Sus cebifrons)

Pygmy hog (Sus salvanius)

Pere David’s deer (Elaphurus davidianus)

Kouprey (Bos sauveli)

Walia ibex (Capra walia)

Hunter’s antelope (Damaliscus hunteri)

Queen of Sheba’s gazelle (Gazella bilkis)

Scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah)

Przewalski’s gazelle (Procapra przewalskii)

Tibetan antelope (Pantholops hodgsoni)

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