Freshwater Ecosystems Have the Most Species At Risk
Report by the Heinz Center Highlights NatureServe Data
Animals that depend on freshwater ecosystems are about twice as likely to be at risk of extinction as those found in other ecosystems, according to a new analysis of NatureServe's data on the condition of U.S. plants and animals. The findings are part of a landmark new report issued by The Heinz Center on the condition of America's environment.
The State of the Nation's Ecosystems: Measuring the Lands, Waters, and Living Resources of the United States presents an unbiased and scientifically sound examination of the health of U.S. ecosystems. The report is a five-year collaboration among nearly 150 experts from government, business, environmental organizations, and academia.
The report draws on the detailed information about the distribution and condition of plants and animals that is developed by NatureServe and its network of state natural heritage programs. Of the 1,700 native animal species that depend on forests, 19.4% are at risk, while among animals that depend on grassland or shrubland habitats—also about 1,700 species—16.9% are at risk. For the more than 4000 animals that depend on freshwater habitats, however, the figure is nearly twice as high: 35.3% of these are at risk, revealing that our nation's freshwater habitats are especially threatened.
View At-Risk Forest Species
View At-Risk Grassland-Shrubland Species
View At-Risk Freshwater Species
View complete Heinz Center report
Download PDF file of
Press Release (27.6K)