Endangered Species
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Stories from - NORTH DAKOTA

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Living Dinosaur Survives with Hatchery’s Help

Less well-known than the popular salmon or trout, the pallid sturgeon is one of the more reclusive, ancient, and larger native fish in North America... Read More

Stories from - NORTH DAKOTA

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Conserving Piping Plovers in North Dakota

The piping plover is a small sand-colored shorebird that nests on the barren shorelines of alkaline (salty) lakes, reservoirs and on riverine sandbars of large river/reservoir systems in ... Read More

Featured Species in North Dakota

Whooping crane. Photo credit: USFWS

Whooping crane

The whooping crane is one of the most, if not the most, endangered birds in North America. A combination of hunting and habitat loss nearly drove the species to extinction in the 1940s. Thanks to the hard work of federal, state, and nongovernmental groups, there are now about 250 whooping cranes living in the wild and another 150 whoopers in captivity.  More »


Whooping crane.

Photo credit: USFWS

Black-footed ferret. Photo credit: Ryan Hagerty, USFWS

Black-footed ferret

The black-footed ferret was considered extinct or nearly extinct when a small population was located in Mellette County, South Dakota in 1964. Still, the black-footed ferret remains one of the most endangered mammals in North America.

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Black-footed ferret.

Photo credit: Ryan Hagerty, USFWS

Pallid sturgeon. photo credit:  Ken Bouc, Nebraska Game & Parks Commission

Pallid sturgeon

Pallid sturgeon are slow growing fish that feed primarily on small fish and immature aquatic insects. This species of sturgeon is seldom seen and is one of the least understood fish in the Missouri and Mississippi River drainages.     More »


Pallid sturgeon.

Photo credit: Ken Bouc, Nebraska Game & Parks Commission

Partnership Stories in North Dakota

New England Cottontail.  Photo credit: Gene Nieminen, USFWS

A History of Black-Footed Ferrets

This video chronicles the rediscovery of black-footed ferrets in Wyoming 30 years ago. At that time, black-footed ferrets were thought to be extinct. The rediscovery set in motion one of the most successful conservation efforts in history. More »

Found in North Dakota

  • pallid sturgeon. Photo credit: Rob Holm, USFWS

    The pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) inhabits the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, and evolved from a group of fishes that were dominant during the late Cretaceous period 70 million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth. With its flattened shovel-shaped snout, bony plates and long reptile-like tail, this fish even looks like a dinosaur. Habitat loss and modification from construction of dams and channelization of rivers, and commercial fishing and environmental contaminants have played a role in the pallid sturgeon’s decline.

    Photo credit: Rob Holm, USFWS

  • Western prairie fringed orchid. Photo credit: J. Challey, USFS

    The western prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera praeclara) was historically found throughout the tallgrass regions of North America. It has experienced at least a 60 percent decline from historic levels. In North Dakota, the population is found on and near the Sheyenne National Grasslands in the southeastern part of the State. The greatest threat to the prairie fringed orchids is habitat loss, mostly through conversion to cropland.

    Photo credit: J. Challey, USFS

See other species listed in North Dakota
Last updated: December 31, 2014