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Service Congratulates 2012 Endangered Species Recovery Champions
Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recognized 61 conservation heroes for their outstanding efforts to protect our most threatened fish, wildlife and plants by designating them 2012 Recovery Champions. These individuals exemplify the dedication and determination that has helped save countless animals and plants from extinction, and that continues to raise the bar in the field of endangered species conservation.
Relict Leopard Frog
The relict leopard frog was believed to be extinct until three populations were discovered during the early 1990s. While the rare frog has not been found in Utah since 1950, it is at home in freshwater springs in Nevada and Arizona.
Photo credit: Tom Brennan
Lange's Metalmark Butterfly
The Lange's metalmark is a reddish-orange butterfly with only a 1.5-inch wingspan. Its last known home is the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge, which was established in 1980 specifically to protect the butterfly.
Photo credit: David Kelly, USFWS
Copperbelly Water Snake
The copperbelly water snake lives in lowland swamps or other warm, quiet waters. The population of copperbelly water snakes that live in southern Michigan, northeastern Indiana, and northwestern Ohio has been listed as threatened.
Photo credit: ©Omar Attum, used with permission
The Colorado pikeminnow, formerly the Colorado squawfish, is the largest American minnow, growing up to 6 feet long and weighing up to 80 pounds. The fish occurs in the warm, swift waters of the big rivers of the Colorado Basin.
Photo credit: Joe Ferreira
Breeding Hellbenders in Tennessee
The Eastern and Ozark hellbenders, and their close cousins the Japanese and Chinese giant salamanders, have remained unchanged since 60 million years ago during the age of the dinosaurs. Both subspecies have experienced recent population declines, and may be threatened with extinction unless conservation programs are developed. More »
Photo credit: Brian Gratwicke