Species at Risk Today

Project Passenger Pigeon

Lessons from the Past for a Sustainable Future

Species Declining, Threatened, Gone, Saved

Project Passenger Pigeon aims to tell the little known and remarkable story of the passenger pigeon and its extinction to as wide an audience as possible. But this effort is far more than a history lesson, as heartbreaking and breathtaking as that history is; we will be shining a bright light on the broader challenges of maintaining global biodiversity.

Other species have become extinct and a growing number are in steep decline, but there continue to be success stories as well. In this section you will be able to examine a wide range of cases representing past and likely future species outcomes.

Disappearing Plants
By mid-century, the United States may witness the extinction of 25% of its native plant species, with equal or greater losses expected for plant species worldwide. (Learn more)

The Whale Shark: Waning of a Gentle Giant
Listed as vulnerable in the Red List of Threatened Species. Some good news: a growing number of restaurants worldwide are removing shark fin from their menus. (Learn more)

Northern Bald Ibis - The Rarest Bird in the Middle East
The Northern Bald Ibis consists of two populations, a western group that inhabits Morocco and Algeria is non-migratory and an eastern group that inhabited Syria and Turkey was a long distant migrant. A population that was in the thousands as late as the mid-1900s, the eastern group declined to the point where it was considered extinct. But seven birds were discovered nesting in Syria in 2002. After some initial success, conservation efforts floundered over politics and war. (Learn more)

Cranes of The World: Conservation Challenges and Successes
Of the world’s 15 species of cranes, 11 are considered threatened or endangered. Among these, the rare Whooping Crane found only in North America, has been successfully bred from a low of 21 birds in the 1940s to almost 600 in 2011. (Learn more)

The Collapse of the Bats
A recent Science study predicted that the most common bat species, the little brown bat, might become extinct in the Eastern U.S. by 2028. One million bats—the number already felled by a fungus—consume some 700 tons of insects on an annual basis. (Learn more)

Freshwater Mussels: World's Most Endangered Animal Group
70% of North America’s freshwater mussels are already extinct or endangered. The genus used to consist of 25 distinct species, but 14 of those are now extinct. (Learn more)

The Massasauga Rattlesnake: Threatened in the U.S. and Canada
Human activity has reduced populations of this snake to the point that it is listed as threatened in Canada and considered as threatened or endangered in many states. The species is being monitored by the US Fish & Wildlife Service for federal listing. (Learn more)

Interior Least Terns: Preservation Through Innovation and Partnerships
This declining bird is being helped through the creation of artificial habitat and the efforts of dedicated high school students. (Learn more)

Amphibians: Facing a current conservation crisis of unprecedented declines and extinctions.(Learn more)


This list will be expanded as this website grows. Let us know if you would like to see a particular species profiled.

(Return to Top)