For the first time since 1996, the Minnesota DNR has updated the list of endangered and threatened animals and plants in the state, adding over 180 species. Listed species are categorized as either endangered, threatened or of special concern. The list is based on scientific field studies and public hearings held over the past year. Check out the full updated list on the MN DNR web site.
New to the list of ‘special concern’ include Moose, Big Brown Bat, and Canada Lynx. Many aquatic plants are now on the list, many as a direct result of pollution and competition with invasives.
The DNR suggests that the loss of habitat and the threat of invasive species are significant reasons that native plants and animals are either endangered or threatened. Check out their Guide to Why species become rare.
Recent success stories include the Trumpeter Swan, Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, and Gray Wolf, whose populations now qualify them to upgraded from the ‘endangered’ category. The DNR is hoping that emphasis on the newly threatened species will create more public awareness and emphasis on species like the Boreal Owl, Northern Pocket Gopher, Moose, Elk, Dakota Skipper, and many more.
Minnesota Public Radio News interviewed DNR endangered species coordinator Rich Baker about the updates.
Find out more about the list changes and the wolf controversy at the Star Tribune.