North America’s Most Endangered Animals

Snails, marmots, condors and coral reef are among the many species on the continent that are close to extinction

Kemp's ridleys are the world's smallest sea turtles and are also the most endangered. (Erich Schlegel / International_NI / Corbis)

Red Wolf (Canis rufus)

Red wolf
(Layne Kennedy / Corbis)
More than 100 red wolves roam Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in coastal North Carolina. That may not sound like many, but it’s the result of a successful reintroduction program. By the early 1980s only a few wolves remained in the wild—victims of hunting and habitat loss—and scientists captured the last 17, breeding them in captivity and then repopulating the refuge. But now there’s a new threat to the wolves: climate change and the resulting rise in sea levels may drown the wolves’ low-lying coastal home. But Alligator River scientists aren’t giving up. They’re using wetland-restoration techniques, including simple measures like planting soil-stabilizing trees, to protect the refuge from higher tides and stronger storms and give the area’s animals, including the wolves, time to move farther inland as the coastline shifts. – SZ

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus