California's Endangered Species Are Hurting Due to Wildfires

Posted by Crystal Long
California condor sits perched on the Grand Canyon.

California is one of the most popular states in America. But did you know that there are also many endangered species in California?

The Golden State is one of the most popular states in America, and it's easy to see why -- Sunny weather, the beautiful California coastline, and the amazing vineyards. (Can't forget about the wine!). Not to mention, Disneyland and, of course, Hollywood have people flocking to the "land of the stars". It is no surprise why California has the largest economy in the United States.

Fun fact: California grows more than 3.3 million tons of wine grapes per year and accounts for 90% of all U.S. wine.

But did you know that the Golden State also has many listed species under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA)? Yes, many endangered & threatened species in the Endangered Species Act (ESA) come from California, around 301 protected species worth. Here are five native species in need of help.

5 Endangered Species in California

1. California Tiger Salamander

An amphibian endemic to California, the California Tiger Salamander was once considered a subspecies of the Tiger Salamander, one of the largest salamander species in North America. Endangered in Santa Barbara, this large and stocky salamander is in danger of extinction due to habitat loss.

2. Delta Smelt

The Delta Smelt is a tiny three-inch fish found only in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. This cute, tiny fish has a silvery-blue color and is considered to be one of the best indicators of the state of rivers in California's ecosystem, making them quite important. Sadly, these fishes are threatened by the lack of freshwater flow in their habitat and several other factors. Visit the Center for Biological Diversity to see how to save these little guys.

3. California Condor

The California Condor is the largest flying bird in North America. This majestic giant can be found in Southern California and is at risk of extinction due to lead poisoning; Mostly accidentally ingesting lead bullets used by hunters. Other threats include illegal egg collection and habitat loss, leaving roughly 337 California Condors in the wild. Visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) for more info.

4. Black Abalone

Found in the San Francisco Bay area, this invertebrate was once most abundant between the Baja California coast and Oregon. Black Abalones are now an endangered species because of climate change; As they feed on plant species, warmer waters will reduce the native plants consumed by abalones.

5. Amargosa Vole

The Amargosa vole, not to be confused with the also endangered Buena Vista Lake Ornate Shrew, is hands-down one of the cutest endangered species in California. They can be found in the isolated wetlands of Central Mojave Desert, which are found in California, Nevada, and Utah. Amargosa voles are on the brink of extinction mostly due to habitat destruction.

The Golden State takes their conservation efforts very seriously. These endangered species, as well as all the other federally protected species in California, are well underway with conservation efforts made by organizations like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), CDFW, and the California Fish and Game Commission.

Have you seen any of the above endangered species from California? Tell us in the comments below!

READ MORE: Everything You Need to Know About the Californian Rabbit

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California's Endangered Species Are Hurting Due to Wildfires