National Geographic – This interactive map highlights lesser-known endangered species across America. “The Wyoming toad may be North America’s most endangered amphibian. Disease and habitat loss drove the lumpy, spotted toad into such rapid decline in the 20th century that by 1984, there were only about 16 wild toads left, all in a single county just west of Laramie, Wyoming. By 1991, they were declared extinct in the wild. Now, thanks to complex captive breeding and release efforts, the Wyoming toad seems to be making a comeback. You may have never heard of the Wyoming toad. In fact, many Laramie residents have never heard of it either.
But stories like this play out all over the nation, from the masked bobwhite quail of Arizona’s Sonora Desert, once abundant and now almost extinct in the wild, to the Salt Creek tiger beetle, one of the rarest insects in America. Its beleaguered population lives in marshland in just one Nebraska county. Often when we think of endangered species, iconic symbols of conservation come to mind: the Bengal tiger, the orangutan, the blue whale. But endangered species are in our own backyards as well: 719 animals in the United States are listed as endangered or threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. All are vital to their ecosystems. When one species disappears, that loss risks imperiling the food chain of its entire biosphere…”