8 Endangered Species Protecting Your Public Lands

Nudged by countless lawsuits from conservation groups, the protected-species list could more than double in the decade ahead. The greatest benefit? Millions of acres of land—often prime recreational real estate—shielded from unfettered commercial (read: oil and gas) exploitation. Sure, these protections can sometimes seem excessive. But we’ll take ’em!

To measure the contributions of some of the most heroic species, we divided the square miles of critical habitat by the animal's range and size and multiplied it by the number of animals left in the wild. The result: the Outside Excessive Protection Score (EPS).

Jen Schwartz
(Dennis Donohue )
Gray Wolf

Nudged by countless lawsuits from conservation groups, the protected-species list could more than double in the decade ahead. The greatest benefit? Millions of acres of land—often prime recreational real estate—shielded from unfettered commercial (read: oil and gas) exploitation. Sure, these protections can sometimes seem excessive. But we’ll take ’em!

To measure the contributions of some of the most heroic species, we divided the square miles of critical habitat by the animal's range and size and multiplied it by the number of animals left in the wild. The result: the Outside Excessive Protection Score (EPS).

Jen Schwartz

The Piping Plover

Population: 5,900 left in the U.S.
Protected Area: 200 sq. mi. protected in Great Lakes region
EPS: 3.6

(Mary Beth Charles )


Frosted Flatwoods Salamander

Population: 10,000 left
Protected Area: 500 sq. mi. protected in Georgia and South Carolina
EPS: 2,500

(Flickr)


Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse

Population: 18,000 left
Protected Area: 411 river miles protected in Colorado
EPS: 3,699

(Courtesy of Colorado State)


Spruce Fir Moss Spider

Population: 87 sightings in two years
Protected Area: 1.4 sq. mi. protected in the Appalachian Mountains
EPS: 61

(Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)


Northern Red-Bellied Cooter

Population: 3,500 left
Protected Area: 11 sq. mi. protected in Massachusetts
EPS: .02

(Tony Campbell )


Bull Trout

Population: Two million left in the U.S.
Protected Area: 20,551 miles of streams protected in the Rocky Mountains
EPS: 2,657

Bull Trout Sampling bull trout Rick Hargrave fish
(Oregon Department of Fish and Wi)


Gray Wolf

Population: 1,750 left in the Rocky Mountains
Protected Area: 80,000 sq. mi. protected
EPS: 1.7

(Dennis Donohue )


Polar Bear

Population: 3,500 left in U.S.
Protected Area: A January lawsuit nullified protection of 187,000 sq. mi. in Alaska
EPS: Void

(Sylvie Bouchard )

Filed To: Politics / Nature / Photography
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