Although the numbers fluctuate, our listening area has about 21 federally endangered and 6 federally threatened animal species. Each state also has its own endangered species lists, and in Maryland there are 91 endangered and 19 threatened animals. Conservationists often push for vulnerable animals and plants to be added to these lists because of the critical protection they provide—but it’s never a good sign to see a species reach this point.
One of our great local animals, the wood turtle, is a short step away from being on Maryland’s list. Currently, this reptile is listed as only ‘vulnerable,’ meaning that it is in danger of being endangered.