Mammals

Finback Whale

The Finback Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) is the world’s second biggest living animal. Finbacks can grow to nearly 70 feet in length and a weight of 70 tons. Despite that massive size, they are streamlined and muscular allowing them to travel at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour, earning it the nickname, “the greyhound of the sea”. It can hold its breath for 50 minutes. The whale’s territory stretches across all of the world’s oceans. The Finback Whale is… Continue reading

Mexican Gray Wolf

The Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi), a highly intelligent and socially complex carnivore, is the most endangered wolf subspecies in the world. Native to the mountainous woodlands of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, this rare canine suffered habitat loss and other human impacts so great that it has been effectively absent from the American landscape for more than half a century. Intensive expansion into the American Southwest in the early 20th century marked the beginning of the… Continue reading

Bowhead Whale

The physical presence of the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) is immense and powerful—almost beyond human comprehension. It grows up to 66 feet long with a massive head making up one-third of its body. Its mouth can be 16 feet long and its tongue weighs one ton. The bowhead is insulated with nearly two feet of blubber! It has a forehead so powerful that it can smash through up to two feet of ice to take a breath. Believed to be… Continue reading

Wolverine

Wolverines in the lower 48 states are threatened by the low number of individuals contributing to their genetic diversity,  as well as the low overall population number; relative isolation from populations in Canada; global warming (which reduces the snow pack wolverines rely on for den sites); winter recreation in denning areas; and trapping in Montana. Why Protection is Needed Low populations – The lower 48 population of wolverines is reduced to a perilously low number.  Their breeding population is estimated… Continue reading

Pacific Walrus

The Pacific walrus relies on Arctic sea ice throughout the year for breeding, nursing calves, traveling and resting between dives for food.  The rapid loss of sea ice due to global warming greatly threatens the survival of the Pacific walrus.  Arctic summer sea ice is predicted to disappear completely by 2030 or before, and 40 percent of winter sea ice in the Bering Sea may be lost by mid-century if current greenhouse gas emissions continue. Why Protection is Needed Global… Continue reading

Humpback Whale

These amazing whales migrate throughout the oceans, sing complex vocalizations and use nets of bubbles to capture schools of fish. The humpback whale populations were decimated by whaling and they are currently listed as endangered. The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is one of the world’s most popular mammals. They are known for their spectacular leaps out water, distinctive tail fins (flukes), and their melodic singing in the ocean’s depths. The humpback is a baleen whale, a filter feeder that strains… Continue reading

Sea Otter

Sea otters live and play in the waters off the Pacific coast. They are one of the few animals known to use tools – they use small rocks to open shellfish. The otters play an important role in controlling sea urchin populations, which would otherwise damage the kelp forest ecosystem. They were thought to be extinct from the California coast, until 50 otters were found near Big Sur.

Florida Panther

The Florida panther is the most endangered cat in North America. With only 100 – 160 cats in the wild, the panther most likely would not exist without the Endangered Species Act. The only known breeding population of panthers is in south Florida, although its historic range covered the entire southeastern United States. The Florida panther is a subspecies of puma which goes by many names; mountain lion, cougar, painter, American lion. They don’t use Everglades habitat or Everglades National… Continue reading

Gray Wolf

Wolves are highly social animals that live in family groups called packs. At the top of the food chain, they have a very important role in the ecosystem. In the years since they were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho, wolves have helped reduce an overpopulation of elk in the Park, and have kept elk from lingering undisturbed in Aspen groves and along streams. Biologists now believe this has led to the recovery of over-browsed trees and shrubs… Continue reading

Canada Lynx

The Canadian lynx is a wild and elusive cat that lives in the northern forests from the Northeast to the Rocky Mountains. Its thick fur and large paws helps it hunt showshoe hares in the far northern wilderness. Due to the loss of the United State’s great forests, the lynx has been pushed into the last remaining wild places.Because it is so secretive, scientists have a hard time figuring out exactly how many lynx survive in the wild, but they… Continue reading