Endangered Species
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Stories from - RHODE ISLAND

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Rhode Island Landowners Needed to Conserve Sandplain Gerardia

"My vision is to see a field in bloom—make the whole place pink," says Chris Raithel of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, referring to restoring populations of the endangered sandplain gerardia... Read More

When Conservation Works: Piping Plovers in Rhode Island

Like us, piping plovers love the beach. The small, stocky, sand-colored birds rely on Atlantic coast beaches for every aspect of their life cycle... Read More

Stories from - RHODE ISLAND

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American burying beetles strengthen their numbers in New England

The idea of peaceful island living appeals to many people. But for one insect, island living is not an idyllic vacation, but rather a last hope for survival in New England... Read More

Stories from - RHODE ISLAND

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Partnering to Protect the Shorebirds of Sandy Point Island

Binti Ackley, like many of her fellow beachgoers and landowners, beams with pride when she talks about protecting the well-loved Sandy Point Island in Rhode Island. "Sandy Point Island is... Read More

Featured Species in Rhode Island

Atlantic Coast piping plover. Photo credit: USFWS

Atlantic Coast piping plover

The piping plover is a dainty, sand-colored shorebird, distinguished from other small North American plovers by its pale plumage and bright orange legs. Human activities can disturb piping plovers on both their breeding and wintering grounds.

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Atlantic Coast piping plover.

Photo credit: USFWS

New England cottontail. Photo credit: Pam Wells

New England cottontail

The New England cottontail population has plummeted over the last several decades, disappearing from 86 percent of its historical range.

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New England cottontail.

Photo credit: Pam Wells

Partnership Stories in Rhode Island

New England Cottontail.  Photo credit:

New England Cottontail

As recently as 1960, New England cottontails were found east of the Hudson River in New York, across all of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, north to southern Vermont and New Hampshire, and into southern Maine. Today, this rabbit's range has shrunk by more than 75 percent. More »

Found in Rhode Island

  • Roseate tern. Photo credit: Mike Morel, USFWS

    The northeastern population of the roseate tern (Sterna dougallii dougallii) breeds on islands of the northeastern coast of the U.S., mostly on Cape Cod and Long Island. Commercial hunting for trade and women's fashions in the late 19th century decimated the nesting population, as it did for most seabirds. Today, loss of available nesting sites has restricted breeding birds, sending them closer to mainland areas and predators such as gulls, foxes and owls.

    Photo credit: Mike Morel, USFWS

  • Sandplain gerardia. Photo credit: Bruce Sorrie, New England Wildlflower Society

    Sandplain gerardia (Agalinis acuta) is a small annual related to snapdragons that grows in native grasslands along the coast of the northeastern US. In the past, fire, cutting and grazing maintained native grassy prairies, but these practices declined as the human populations grew. Without these special kinds of disturbance, grasslands are invaded by shrubs and weeds, and sandplain gerardia is crowded out.

    Photo credit: Bruce Sorrie, New England Wildflower Society

See other species listed in Rhode Island
Last updated: June 4, 2020