Sustainable Development in Latin America
Biodiversity Insights > U.S. Species at Risk: A State-by-State
The United States harbors a dazzling variety of life. From Maine's Great North Woods to California's giant redwoods, and from Hawaii's tropical peaks to the Florida Everglades' "river of grass," the 50 states feature an unparalleled spectrum of wild places and wild species within a vast and varied landscape.
Yet much of this magnificent natural diversity is imperiled,
vulnerable, or otherwise at risk. NatureServe's data shows that nationwide,
about one-third of species in the best-known groups of plants and animals are
at risk. When viewed state by state, this geography of risk takes on a fascinating
aspect. We present here our latest data on state patterns of biological wealth
and riskwhere our wild plants and animals are found, and how they are
faring. We rank the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on analyses
of several key species measures: diversity,
This newly updated information from NatureServe's scientific databases offers
a striking picture of the state of the states.
Place your cursor on the map to highlight and view detailed information
for every state in each of the four key categories.
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with IE5.5 or Netscape6.2.
Four states in particular stand out as having exceptional
levels of biodiversity as measured by all four factors: California, Hawaii,
Texas, and Alabama. Patterns of risk-as reflected by the proportion of a state's
species considered imperiled or vulnerable-highlight Hawaii (where 63% of species
are at risk) and California (with 29% of species at risk). Secondary centers
of rarity are found in several other western and southeastern states including
Nevada (16%), Alabama (15%), Utah (15%) and Florida (14%).
Biodiversity Insights No.1, December 2002