6 Lesser Known Endangered Species

We're celebrating Endangered Species Day with six lesser known endangered species, from the secretary bird to the Bactrian camel. 

1. Carnivorous pitcher plant (Nepenthes attenboroughii) named for naturalist Sir David Attenborough.

2. Okapi. The brown-and-white forest-dwelling okapi has zebra-like stripes, but is actually related to giraffes. 

3. Bactrian camel. There are less than 1,000 Bactrian camel left, and they are the only land mammals capable of drinking salty or brackish water without ill effects.

4. Cuban crocodile. The critically endangered Cuban crocodile has been interbreeding with the American crocodile. This creates a hybrid crocodile, which poses a threat to its survival. 

5. Secretary bird. These large birds can stomp with force, up to about 5 times their bodyweight, and live in sub-Saharan African grasslands. 

6. Gharial. These freshwater crocodilians use sensory cells in their snouts that detect vibrations in the water to zero in on fish. 

From our community: 

1. Striated caracara. Ulises Balza works with the striated caracara, who is still Near Threatened because of no known current threats, but has found a very complicated situation.

2. Santa cruz long toed salamanders. Leyna Stemla works with Santa cruz long toed salamanders, who only inhabit around 20 pools!

3. Hawaiian tree snails. Melissa Price studies genetics and climate change impacts on critically endangered Hawaiian tree snails (kāhuli in Hawaiian). In the last 200 years, introduced predators, shell collectors and forest loss have decimated kāhuli. In the last five years the last remaining wild populations have largely disappeared. 

4. Red wolves. Sarah Weber will be working with stakeholders involved in red wolf reintroduction. At last count, only 7 collared animals are known in the wild, but more are on the way.