The Mohave Fringed-Toed Lizard (Uma scoparia) is indigenous to the desert regions of Southern California, specifically areas of fine, wind blown sand. Scales along the edges of their feet (fringes) help them to run at high speeds. To escape predators they run on their hind legs and then dive into the sand, burying themselves about 2 1/2″ below ground. Unfortunately this doesn’t protect them from off road vehicles which can run them over and also destroy the vegetation which they rely upon.
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The Peregrin Falcon (Falco peregrinus) is a great example of an endangered species success story. The Peregrin Falcon came close to becoming extinct due to the use of DDT and other pesticides from the 1950s through the 1970s. It was one of the first species named to the Endangered Species Act. The banning of DDT in the 1970s and captive breading programs helped the Peregrin Falcon population rebound, and it was removed from the Endangered Species act in 1999.
The Scalloped Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna lewini) is classified as endangered by the IUCN Red list. Populations of Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks have dropped as much as 95% in the last 30 years, primarily because Scalloped Hammerheads are the shark most commonly caught for shark fin soup. Increasingly, there is a call to ban ‘shark finning’; a practice where the fins of live sharks are cut off and the sharks are thrown back into the ocean to die.
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The name Orangutan (genus Pongo) means ‘person of the forest’ in Malay. Orangutans are great apes living in the rain forests of Borneo and Sumatra. They are among the most intelligent of primates with incredibly advanced use of tools. Orangutans spend as much as 90% of their lives in trees, and are therefore extremely susceptible to deforestation and habitat loss. Other threats to the Orangutan include poaching and the illegal pet trade.
The Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis) is classified as critically endangered, with the Western subspecies of Black Rhino declared extinct in 2011. The greatest threat to Black Rhinos is the illegal market in rhinoceros horn. Under CITES appendix 1, the trade in rhino horn has been illegal since 1977. But the demand is still great, with China being the largest importer.
Townsend’s Big-Eared Bat (Corynorhinus townsendii) is a medium sized bat with large ears native to North America. Their population has been declining due to habitat loss, and disturbance of caves, roosts, etc. They have recently been named as a candidate for the California State Endangered Species Act.
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The Golden Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia) is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red list. There are around 1,000 living in the wild and close to 500 in zoos and captive breeding programs worldwide. Deforestation is the major threat, as their original habitat has been reduced to less than 10% of its original area.
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This is the “extra” panel we made as part of our school quilt project at Thomas Starr King Middle School in the spring of 2013. This panel was not included in either quilt block, but was made specifically for Dr Chris Pincetich, the Outreach and Education Manager at Turtle Island Restoration Network. Students from both classes worked on this panel, and it was delivered to the TIRN offices in Northern California during the summer.
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The Blue Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale) is a good example of a species labeled as endangered within its respective area. According to the IUCN Red list they are labeled ‘least concerned’, but are labeled endangered by many states within their habitat. Amphibians in general are in danger. After being on earth for 300 million years, more than 120 species may have become extinct within the last several decades. At present, 1 out of every 3 species of amphibians is at risk of extinction
Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris) are marine mammals and members of the weasel family. They are the only marine mammal to rely on their fur instead of fat for warmth. Their fur is the thickest of any mammal and the primary reason for their decline in numbers. Starting in the the mid 1700’s to the early part of the 20th century, Sea Otters were hunted for their fur leading them to the brink of extinction.