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At least one or more species of endangered animal can be found in the network of national park systems in America, so although rare, the chances of spotting endangered species are higher if you spend time in the parks. Parks in the Pacific West and Southwest regions have the greatest amount of endangered and threatened species; this list will aim to identify the best spots for viewing these amazing and rare creatures.
Channel Islands, California
Image courtesy of craig1black from Flickr – //www.flickr.com/photos/95368991@N00/1425154345/
The lakes, rivers, coats and mountains of California make the perfect habitat for bald eagles, and up until the 20th century records indicate that this endangered species bred all over the 8 channel islands, and ranked as the top marine aerial predator at the time. However due to persecution by humans and the introduction of DTT chemicals to the islands the birds were all but eliminated by the mid-1950s. Luckily the National Park Service (NPS) stepped in and with the help of the Montrose Trustees Restoration Program and the Institute For Wildlife Studies, in 2002 breeding bald eagles were introduced slowly to the islands. There are now nests in the channel islands again, and hope for this once-threatened population.
Big Bend, Texas
In Big Bend National Park, all habitats of endangered species are protected, meaning that all species of animal in the park, whether endangered or not is protected from human harm. The Chisos Mountains in the park seems to be the best spot for seeking out endangered types. The black bear, for instance had been previously extinct form the park for over 40 years, but since a small colony of the bears migrated across the Mexican border in the 1980’s, Chisos Mountains have been the place to spot them. Another resident of the Chisos range is the Mexican long-nosed bat. The bats migrate across the border in time for the bloom of specific plants, which they feed from.
Image “Taken at the Burro Mesa Pouroff in Big Bend National Park in West Texas” – courtesy of danmachold from Flickr – //www.flickr.com/photos/55569773@N00/2973451076/
Rocky Mountain, Colorado
In terms of quantity one of the most fruitful of America’s national parks in terms of endangered species spotting has to be the Rocky Mountain National Park. As well as a healthy list of birds including the bald eagle, whooping crane and Mexican spotted owl, and a great deal of fish in the many rivers, the park is also home to the Canada lynx, they look like a cross between a domestic cat and a bob-cat, although they are twice the size of the average domestic cat. Despite being spotted in the park, these cats are extremely rare, and it may be unlikely you’ll see one on your visit.
Image “The Steller’s Jay is a jay native to western North America” courtesy of Alan Vernon. from Flickr – //www.flickr.com/photos/32541690@N02/5763438932/
The National Park System in America work hard to preserve the current list of threatened and endangered species by working with many agencies. Finding and monitoring these animals is key to their conservation, as is the public and visitor contribution. There are several ways visitors can help to preserve the habitat of endangered species within the parks, so while you visit, consider helping to fund projects to protect these creatures in their natural American habitat.
Author Bio | Geoffery is a passionate travel blogger residing in the UK. He enjoys sharing his travel adventures around the USA, he blogs on behalf of travel sites like audleytravel.com, Expedia and Thomas Cook. In his spare time he has also given guided national park tours around the USA.