Higgin’s Eye

Posted in RARE, Uncategorized on May 8, 2010 by theterracottawarriors

Higgin’s Eye – more than 250,000
Lampsilis higginsii
Genoa National Fish Hatchery, Genoa, Wisconsin

An important food source for muskrats, otters, and other wildlife, these native pearly mussels are losing ground to competing zebra mussels from abroad. Limited to drainages in the Upper Mississippi, it has been reduced to half its historic range. Industrial runoff also harms this bivalve, as toxic metals and chemicals become concentrated within the mussel.



Posted in RARE, Uncategorized on May 4, 2010 by theterracottawarriors

Ocelot – 195
Leopardus pardalis
San Diego Zoo, San Diego, California

Wild ocelots are gone from all U.S. states except Texas, evicted by human development. The illegal trade in exotic furs and pets has also put a dent in their population. These elusive cats still roam the wilds of Central and South America, though there’s little reliable data on their true numbers.

“The key in photographing anything is having time and good access. In this case, we had access to the only ocelot I know of that is trained to walk on a leash, at the San Diego Zoo. Time was the real issue, though. Many of these animals will stand still only for food. The moment they get full, the shoot is over. We got eight minutes.” – Joel Sartore

Rare: Photographs by Joel Sartore is currently on view at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C. The photographs are installed in lightboxes facing the street, come by after dusk to get the full effect!

Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly

Posted in Uncategorized on April 30, 2010 by theterracottawarriors

Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly – approximately 4,300
Glaucopsyche lygdamus palosverdesensis
Maguire Center, Gainesville, Florida
In 1982, bulldozers cleared a meadow southwest of Los Angeles, destroying the last known homestead of these butterflies. Eight years later, a small population was discovered in San Pedro. A captive breeding program, led by a UCLA entomologist, saved this species from the brink. An estimated 4,000 of these butterflies live in captivity, 300 in the wild.

Yellowfin Madtom

Posted in Uncategorized on April 28, 2010 by theterracottawarriors

Yellowfin Madtom – approximately 8,300

Noturus flavipinnis

Conservation Fisheries, Knoxville, Tennessee

A small catfish confined to the Tennessee River Valley, the yellowfin madtom for eons laid its eggs under rocks. Along came farmers and cows, their activity filling the rivers with silt. Gone were the nooks and crannies the madtom needed to reproduce. Survivors carry their genes into a murky future.

The Nene

Posted in RARE on April 22, 2010 by theterracottawarriors

Hawaiian Goose (Nēnē) – approximately 2,050
Branta sandvicensis
Great Plains Zoo, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

To protect this native Hawaiian bird from hunters and introduced predators, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has put breeding geese in pens, restored native plant foods, and closed some areas to visitors. These safe havens may give the nēnē, Hawaii’s state bird, a fighting chance.

American Burying Beetle

Posted in RARE on April 20, 2010 by theterracottawarriors

American Burying Beetle – less than or equal to 25,000

Nicrophorus americanus

St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis, Missouri

American burying beetles like dark, undisturbed areas rich in carrion. Nature’s undertakers, they bury small dead animals to feed their young. After digging a hole beneath an animal, they strip it of fur or feathers and apply secretions to retard decay. The female beetle then lays eggs in a chamber above the carcass. Their range is down from 35 states to 9.

Joel Satore To Speak

Posted in RARE on April 19, 2010 by theterracottawarriors

Can’t get enough of RARE and endangered species? Come meet the photographer, Joel Sartore, tomorrow at National Geographic’s headquarters in D.C.! On April 20, Sartore will be signing books in the store at noon and giving a lecture at 7:30pm.


Fringed Campion

Posted in RARE on April 18, 2010 by theterracottawarriors

Fringed Campion – less than or equal to 10,700

Silene polypetala

Athens, Georgia

“The species is truly, truly rare,” observes U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Peter Pattavina. Found only in mature hardwood forests of Georgia and Florida, this floral relict of the Ice Age has been under pressure from clear-cutting—for cotton plantations in the 19th century and pine plantations today.

George the Bluebird

Posted in Uncategorized on April 15, 2010 by theterracottawarriors

How could you not love this great post about George the Bluebird visiting the National Geographic Museum?

California Tiger Salamander

Posted in RARE on April 13, 2010 by theterracottawarriors

California Tiger Salamander – unknown

Ambystoma californiense

Fresno Chaffee Zoo, Fresno, California

This salamander lives underground, appropriating holes created by other animals, and emerging to breed in pools formed during spring rains. Its range is limited to the grassy foothills of central California, where efforts are underway to protect certain plots of land known to provide safe habitat for these elusive creatures.