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Sandhill CranesEndangered Species


Many native species, in Indiana and across the globe, are disappearing quickly.

The species are categorized by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources according to how few of them are left. A species of concern is any species with known or suspected problems of limited abundance or distribution in Indiana; these species should be closely monitored. A species becomes endangered when there are so few individuals that the species could soon become extinct. Extirpation means that the species has ceased to exist in Indiana. The federal government can classify a species as extinct, meaning that the species has ceased to exist in the wild.

In a study done in 2000 by the World Conservation Union, 11,046 plants and animals were said to be "facing a high risk of extinction in the near future, in almost all cases as a result of human activities."

Extinction is a natural process that has been accelerated by human activity. Increase in human population has resulted in major habitat destruction and fragmentation, over-fishing, introduction of exotic species, poaching, and pollution.
Below is a table showing the number of species that are of concern, endangered, or extirpated in Indiana. These species may or may not be federally threatened, endangered or extinct. To find a list of these species please visit the IDNR Division of Fish and Wildlife Web Site.

Species of Concern

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is acting upon these statistics. The state has restored three previously endangered species—bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and river otters—back to their natural habitat. These species have now become more abundant in the state. Bald eagle nesting sites increased from zero to twenty between 1989 and 2001. In 1995, river otters were very rare in Indiana, but due to a four-year restoration program, they now occur in thirty-five counties. At least eighty-three peregrine falcons have fledged from Indiana nests since 1989, ranking Indiana fourth among Midwestern states in falcon pairs and young produced.

Look for eagle on Indiana state tax form

Currently research is under way to restore several more endangered species--such as Ospreys and the Indiana bat. Several donation programs fund these restoration projects, including the state income tax check-offs created by the Indiana Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program (NEWP), which allow tax-payers to donate part of their state tax refund to this cause. NEWP programs involve research, habitat management, public education, land acquisition and restoration projects.


State of Indiana. Dept. of Natural Resources. Division of Fish and Wildlife. Endangered Wildlife Program. 15 November 2002 <http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/endangered/>.

"Mass Extinction Intensifies as Rates of Species Loss Grow Worldwide." Worldwide Forest/Biodiversity Campaign News. 2000. Forest Conservation Portal. 30 Nov. 2002. <http://forests.org/recent/2000/cogradds.htm>.

Miller, G. Tyler, Jr. Environmental Science: Working with the Earth. 8th ed. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole, 2001.