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One-Third of United States Species at Risk

One-Third of United States Species at Risk
by Kate Furey, VMD and David Milner
Posted on May 14, 2002

The results of a recent study commissioned by the Nature Conservancy indicate that one-third of the animal and plant species indigenous to the United States are "vulnerable," "imperiled" or "critically imperiled."

The researchers ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia by number of different species; number of unique species; percentage of species that are threatened or endangered, and number of species thought to be extinct.

California was found to have the greatest diversity approximately 6,700 different plant and animal species.

Hawaii was found to have not only the largest percentage of species at risk, but the highest number of extinct species.

"This study paints both a hopeful and disturbing portrait," said Henry Tepper, the director of the New York chapter of the Nature Conservancy. "The large number of our species at risk reminds us that we must significantly increase our conservation efforts to protect this diversity for generations to come."

The study was conducted for the Conservancy by NatureServe, a not-for-profit organization devoted to compiling scientific data pertinent to endangered species and threatened ecosystems.

The Nature Conservancy
States of the Union: Ranking Americas Biodiversity

2002 Animal News Center, Inc. - Reprinted with permission

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