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A Talk on the Wild Side.

Boost for Beetles: An ESA Success Story

By Brynn Walling, USFWS

We not only protect threatened and endangered species under the Endangered Species Act, but we also strive to prevent species from being put on the list. A great example of this recently took place in Kentucky.

Kentucky is known for its extensive cave systems. Within these caves lives four beetle species that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Those species are the greater and lesser Adams cave beetle, beaver cave beetle and surprising cave beetle.


Greater Adam cave beetle (Photo: M. McGregor/Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources)

Each of these beetles teetered on the brink of extinction, but with the help of our partners, that risk was decreased without ever having to place the species on the threatened and endangered species list!

We know that plants and animals benefit our ecosystem, biodiversity, medicine, agriculture, natural diversity, and much more. These are all reasons it is important to care about the smallest of species, even beetles. Team efforts to protecting and conserving species are important to our everyday lives.

Learn about the unique conservation stories of each of these four beetles.

A major thanks to our partners at Service and Southern Conservation Corp, the Wildlife Society’s Eastern Kentucky University Student Chapter, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, Kentucky Division of Forestry, and the National Park Service.

Each week, throughout this ruby anniversary year of the Endangered Species Act, we’ll highlight stories of conservation success in every state across the country. Stay tuned!

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