Columbus Audubon

Audubon in Central Ohio since 1913

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Ohio Endangered Species List Updated

ODW LogoCOLUMBUS, OH – Every five years a status assessment of Ohio’s fish and wildlife species is conducted. Several species have been taken off Ohio’s Endangered Species List while others have been added, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

Five species were downlisted from endangered to threatened and include the bobcat, Lake Erie watersnake, trumpeter swan, blue sucker and the mountain madtom. The yellow-bellied sapsucker was downlisted from endangered to species of concern.

Those species going from threatened to special interest were dark-eyed junco, yellow-crowned night-heron, hermit thrush and least flycatcher.

Osprey, bald eagle, bluebreast darter and rosyside dace were taken off the threatened list and will no longer receive a designation. All of these species have experienced tremendous range expansion due to improved habitat or water quality.

Other species that will no longer receive a designation are the blue grosbeak, little blue heron, American widgeon, rock pocketbook, flat floater and fat pocketbook.

Those species added to Ohio’s endangered species list were upland sandpiper, Iowa darter and gilt darter. The Eastern harvest mouse was added to the threatened list.

Species going from no designation to species of concern include smoky shrew, deer mouse, prairie vole, woodland vole, southern bog lemming, silver-haired bat, red bat and hoary bat. The evening bat, American black duck and variegated orange moth will now be listed as a species of special interest.

Listed as extinct are Kramer’s cave beetle and the tubercled blossom mussel, which have not been found globally in more than 100 years. Extirpated from Ohio are the spoonhead sculpin, blackchin shiner, blacknose shiner and Mississippi silvery minnow, which have not been found in the state for 25 years. One mammal, the Southern red-backed vole, has been listed as extirpated.

The Division of Wildlife has legal authority over Ohio's fish and wildlife, which includes about 56 species of mammals, 200 species of breeding birds, 84 species and subspecies of amphibians and reptiles, 170 species of fish, 100 species of mollusks and 20 species of crustaceans. In addition, there are thousands of species of insects and other invertebrates which fall under the Division of Wildlife's jurisdiction.

The first list of Ohio’s endangered wildlife was adopted in 1974 and included 71 species. An extensive examination of the list is conducted every five years. Input is sought from professional Division of Wildlife staff and other wildlife experts across Ohio.

No state tax dollars are used to support this program. Monitoring and recovery efforts are supported by the Wildlife Diversity and Endangered Species Fund, which receives donations from Ohioans through the state income tax check-off program and by the purchase of cardinal license plates. Individuals wanting to donate to the fund can also donate online at www.wildohio.com.

The new Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp provides an additional funding opportunity to support conservation, especially among wildlife watchers, photographers, campers, hikers and others who support wildlife causes. The $15 collectible Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp is available annually and highlights a different wildlife species each year chosen through a photo competition.

Federal funds for endangered species and wildlife diversity efforts are also provided through the State Wildlife Grant Program, which targets species with greatest conservation need. The Lake Erie watersnake recovery efforts are an excellent example of federal, state and local partnership resulting in species resurgence.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. For more information, visit the ODNR website or contact Kendra Wecker, ODNR Division of Wildlife (614-265-7043) or Bethany McCorkle, ODNR Office of Communications (614-265-6873).

Editor’s Note: The six categories used for designation to further define the status of selected wildlife are: endangered, threatened, species of concern, special interest, extirpated and extinct. These categories and the species contained within them are revised as knowledge of the status of Ohio’s wildlife evolves.

Endangered
A native species or subspecies threatened with extirpation from the state. The danger may result from one or more causes, such as habitat loss, pollution, predation, interspecific competition or disease.

Threatened
A species or subspecies whose survival in Ohio is not in immediate jeopardy, but to which a threat exists. Continued or increased stress will result in its becoming endangered.

Species of Concern
A species or subspecies which might become threatened in Ohio under continued or increased stress. Also, a species or subspecies for which there is some concern, but for which information is insufficient to permit an adequate status evaluation. This category may contain species designated as a furbearer or game species, but whose statewide population is dependent on the quality and/or quantity of habitat and is not adversely impacted by regulated harvest.

Special Interest
A species that occurs periodically and is capable of breeding in Ohio. It is at the edge of a larger, contiguous range with viable populations within the core of its range. These species have no federal endangered or threatened status, are at low breeding densities in the state and have not been recently released to enhance Ohio’s wildlife diversity. With the exception of efforts to conserve occupied areas, minimal management efforts will be directed for these species because it is unlikely to result in significant increases in their populations within the state.

Extirpated
A species or subspecies that occurred in Ohio at the time of European settlement and that has since disappeared from the state.

Extinct
A species or subspecies that occurred in Ohio at the time of European settlement and that has since disappeared from its entire range.