Thursday, November 15, 2012

Endangered Wildlife Reflects Troubled Waters

...Right now, many of the ecosystems associated with our lakes, rivers and streams are showing signs of distress. Clean drinking water is something we all need every day. Most of Earth's surface is water, but between saltwater and ice caps, only 1 percent of this water is available for drinking, irrigating our crops, and running our fisheries and industries. When our waterways show signs of stress, we need to listen. The Endangered Species Coalition just released a report detailing 10 imperiled water-related ecosystems, and the imperiled wildlife that depend on them. Pay attention: there's probably a lake or river near you on the list.
Here are some examples:
• In the Sonoran Desert, near Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz., the last few hundred Sonoran pronghorn antelope struggle to survive in one of the hottest, driest corners of North America.
• In the Ozark Rivers and streams of the Eastern United States, the ancient salamander called the hellbender has declined 75 percent since the 1980s. North America's largest salamander depends entirely on cold, clean rushing water.
• In Florida's famous Everglades, some 600 native species are rare or imperiled. One example is the Everglades kite, a beautiful hawk that specializes in eating a single kind of snail.
• In the Colorado River (the river that carved the Grand Canyon) four species of native chub and pikeminnow fish are listed as endangered.
The other imperiled ecosystems -- and information about what people can do to help protect them -- can be found at

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