Species in Peril

Science  08 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5485, pp. 1647e
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5485.1647e

However nonchalant it looks in photos, the Florida panther is a cat living on the edge: Fewer than 50 survive in south Florida, the vestige of a population that once prowled from Texas to Tennessee. More than 1200 other animals and plants—from mammals to snails to lichens—are also in enough trouble to make the federal government's endangered species list. For the latest on these imperiled organisms, try the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's endangered species site.

You can sort through species accounts geographically—Hawaii has the most listings, with 317—or taxonomically. Many entries are aimed at regulators and others who need to know such legal details as when a species was listed and if the government has approved a recovery plan (over 900 exist). Also posted is background on 313-and-counting Habitat Conservation Plans—voluntary agreements that are controversial among conservation biologists. Nonspecialists might prefer the rich selection of information on popular creatures, from magazine articles to links. After reading about the panther's favorite haunts, for example, go to Florida Panther Net, where you can cue up audio of the big cat purring. endangered.fws.gov

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