The Florida Panther (Puma concolor coryi) was one of the first species named to the Endangered Species Act in 1973. The panther, also known as the cougar, puma, or mountain lion, once roamed throughout most of North and South America and was divided into numerous subspecies. Panthers were feared and hunted to the point where the Florida Panther is the only remaining subspecies in the eastern United States. There are somewhere between 100 and 180 Florida Panthers remaining
The Hawaiian Monk Seal (Monachus schauinslandi) is one of two remaining Monk Seals. While most seals live in frigid water, Monk Seals live in the warm tropical waters of Hawaii and the Mediterranean. Hawaiian Monk Seals are solitary animals. During the day, they haul up onshore to find a shady refuge from the heat and then hunt at night. The Hawaiian Monk Seal is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red list. There were originally 3 Monk Seal species: the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and the Hawaiian. The Caribbean monk seal has been extinct since the 1950’s and there are somewhere between 3-6 hundred Mediterranean Monk Seals left.
The Musk Ox (Ovibos moschatus) is one of only a few large mammals to have survived the Pleistocene extinctions. With it’s double layered coat of fur, and the ability to slow its metabolic rate by reducing both oxygen intake and CO2 production, the musk ox is uniquely suited to survive the harshest of winters. Musk Ox are herd animals with a highly developed social structure. When attacked, they are known to surround their young, elderly, or infirm members, facing horns outward in a protective circle. Hopefully these amazing animals will be able to survive in a warming world.
The Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is capable of amazing migratorial feats of up to 3,000 of miles. There are two distinct Monarch populations in north America. The western population of Monarchs migrate from Mexico to parts of California, while the eastern population migrate as far north as southern Canada. Monarch populations are now threatened by climate change, pesticides, and the loss of the milk weed their larva need to feed on.