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species information endangered wildlife

A first source of information on endangered species is the U.S. Department of the Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service. Their Endangered Species Program Web site (http://endangered.fws.gov/) includes news stories on threatened and endangered species, information about laws protecting endangered species, regional contacts for endangered species programs, and a searchable database with information on all listed species. Each listed species has an information page that provides details regarding the status of the species (whether it is listed as threatened or endangered and in what geographic area), federal register documents pertaining to listing, information on Habitat Conservation Plans and National Wildlife Refuges pertinent to the species, and, for many species, links to descriptions of biology and natural history. Particularly informative for those interested in the nuts and bolts of conserving species are the recovery plans published for a large number of listed species. These detail the background research on the natural history of endangered species and also list measures that should be adopted to aid in conservation. The Fish and Wildlife Service also maintains updated tables of the number of threatened and endangered species by taxonomic group, as well as lists of U.S. threatened and endangered species. Finally, the Fish and Wildlife Service publishes the bimonthly Endangered Species Bulletin (available online at http://endangered.fws.gov/bulletin.html), which provides information on new listings, delistings, and reclassifications, in addition to news articles on endangered species.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has news articles on a wide array of conservation issues at its Web site (http://www.iucn.org). Information from the 2003 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is also available online at http://www.redlist.org. This site includes an extensive database of information on IUCN-listed threatened species. Species information available includes Red List endangerment category, the year the species was assessed, the countries in which the species is found, a list of the habitat types the species occupies, major threats to continued existence, and current population trends. Brief descriptions of ecology and natural history and of conservation measures for protecting listed species are also available. Searches can also be performed by taxonomic group, Red List categories, country, region, or habitat.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has information on international trade in endangered species at http://www.cites.org. This includes a species database of protected fauna and flora in the three CITES appendices, as well as information on the history and aims of the convention and its current programs.

Aside from the above three rich sources of species information, numerous organizations are dedicated to the conservation of particular listed species. Readers with interest in a particular endangered species are advised to conduct Internet searches to locate these groups. The Save the Manatee Club (http://www.savethemanatee.org), which focuses on West Indian manatees, and the Save Our Springs Alliance (http://www.sosalliance.org), which focuses on protection of the endangered Barton Springs salamander, are only two of many examples.

Information on federal lands and endangered species management can be found at the National Wildlife Refuge Web site (http://refuges.fws.gov), the National Park System Web site (http://www.nps.gov), and the National Forest Service Web site (http://www.fs.fed.us/). National Wildlife Refuge brochures are available at http://library.fws.gov/refuges/index.html.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has a wealth of global warming-related resources available online at http://www.ipcc.ch. Particularly valuable are periodic "Summary for Policymaker" reports, which summarize the extent of global warming as well as predicted impacts. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also maintains a site dedicated to global warming issues at http://www.epa.gov/globalwarming. Finally, the "GLOBAL WARMING: Early Warning Signs" Web site is a joint production of the Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, World Resources Institute, and World Wildlife Fund, and can be found at http://www.climatehotmap.org. This site provides a graphical interface for examining the numerous documented effects global warming has already had on the world. Early warning signs are divided into "fingerprints"—"direct manifestations of a widespread and long-term trend toward warmer global temperatures," and "harbingers"—"events that foreshadow the types of impacts likely to become more frequent and widespread with continued warming." Fingerprints include heat waves, sea level rise, coastal flooding, melting glaciers, and Arctic and Antarctic warming. Harbingers include spreading disease, earlier arrival of spring, plant and animal range shifts and population declines, coral reef bleaching, downpours, heavy snowfall, flooding, droughts, and fires.

"Endangered Ecosystems of the United States—A Preliminary Assessment of Loss and Degradation," a 1995 publication from the National Biological Service, remains the most up-to-date assessment of U.S. ecosystems. Information on water quality in the United States is available at the EPA Web site, http://www.epa.gov/water. Information on wetlands can be found at the Fish and Wildlife Service's "National Wetlands Inventory" page at http://www.nwi.fws.gov.

The World Conservation Union's 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants is a valuable resource on threatened plant species.

BirdLife International (http://www.birdlife.net) provides diverse resources on global bird conservation. It is an association of non-governmental conservation organizations that has over 2 million members worldwide.

AmphibiaWeb (http://amphibiaweb.org) provides detailed information on global amphibian declines. It maintains a watch list of recently extinct and declining species, discusses potential causes of amphibian declines and deformities, and also provides detailed information on amphibian biology and conservation. AmphibiaWeb also sponsors a discussion board where readers can submit questions regarding amphibians.

TRAFFIC (http://www.traffic.org) was originally founded to help implement the CITES treaty but now addresses diverse issues in wildlife trade. It is a joint wildlife trade monitoring organization of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the World Conservation Union (IUCN). The TRAFFIC Web site contains articles on current topics related to wildlife trade. In addition, TRAFFIC also publishes several periodicals and report series on wildlife trade, including the TRAFFIC Bulletin, TRAFFIC Online Report Series, and Species in Danger Series. These publications are available online at http://www.traffic.org/publications/index.html.

The International Whaling Commission has a Web site at http://www.iwcoffice.org/. Information on whaling regulations, whale sanctuaries, and other issues associated with whales and whaling can be accessed there.

The 2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation provides extensive data on wildlife recreation in the United States. It is published by the Fish and Wildlife Service using data collected by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

Information Plus sincerely thanks all of the organizations listed above for the valuable information they provide.

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