From Many, to Few, to None
Once the most abundant bird in North America, the passenger pigeon was hunted to extinction in the early 1900s. The last of its kind, named Martha, died in captivity on September 1, 1914. A century later, her story... Read More
The Challenge of Preventing the Extinction of an Aquatic Species
One of the rarest freshwater mussels in North America, the purple cat's paw (Epioblasma obliquata obliquata) was widespread in the southern Ohio River... Read More
Endangered Species Success: The Lake Erie Watersnake Recovers
Achieving recovery of an endangered species is a huge accomplishment; doing it in just over a decade is remarkable. Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated team of... Read More
Featured Species in Ohio
Northern riffleshell, typical of many freshwater mussels, are sensitive to siltation, residential and commercial pollution, agricultural run-off, channelization, impoundments, and competition with zebra mussel. Rivers than can support a reproducing population of northern riffleshells probably has good water quality and a healthy watershed. More »
Photo credit: USFWS
Lake Erie watersnake
The Lake Erie watersnake, a harmless, nonvenomous reptile once threatened with extinction, has recovered so well that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed in June 2011 to remove it from the threatened and endangered species list.
Lake Erie watersnake.
Photo credit:Schneider, Kristin Stanford
Great Lakes piping plover
The Great Lakes population of the piping plover was at a perilously low level. But intensive conservation efforts have seen the number of breeding pairs steadily climb from a low of 12 in 1983.
Great Lakes piping plover.
Photo credit: Gene Nieminen, USFWS
Karner blue butterfly
The Karner blue is a small blue insects with a wingspan of about one inch. Habitat throughout the range of the Karner blue has been lost through human activity to suppress wildfire, cultivate forests and develop communities. More »
Karner blue butterfly.
Photo credit: Paul Labus, The Nature Conservancy, Indiana
Partnership Stories in Ohio
Recovering Cumberland Sandwort
Cumberland sandwort is only known from a limited portion of the Cumberland Plateau in north-central Tennessee and adjacent Kentucky. It is restricted to shady, moist rockhouse floors, overhanging ledges, and solution pockets in sandstone rock faces.
Unique to Ohio
The white cat's paw pearlymussel (Epioblasma obliquata perobliqua), is a small bivalve that is only found in a three-mile portion of Fish Creek in northwestern Ohio. This highly endangered species teeters on the brink of extinction and is threatened by pollution, habitat alteration, and changes in surrounding land use.
Photo credit: G. Thomas Watters, Ph.D., Ohio State University
The Lakeside daisy (Hymenoxys herbacea) has been called Ohio's rarest plant. It grows where few other flowers can—in dry, rocky, prairie grassland areas with limestone substrate in full sunlight. Limestone quarrying and over-collection are the biggest threats to its survival, but state partners and concerned citizens are working hard to ensure that future generations understand how important it is to Ohio's biodiversity.
Photo credit: Melanie Cota, USFWS