Endemic Animals of United States








Mohave Ground Squirrel
Mohave Ground Squirrel
The Mohave ground squirrel lives in the California desert and is amongst its more elusive inhabitants. They have highly developed survival skills for the desert which enable them to avoid this hostile climate’s extremes. Mohave ground squirrels are cryptically colored to match their sandy environment. It is very hard to find them and to observe and study them is even more difficult.
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Mohave Ground Squirrel
Utah Prairie Dog
Utah Prairie Dog
The rare Utah prairie dog is not a dog, but a ground-dwelling rodent from the squirrel family. It is tawny to reddish-brown, with a short tail with a white tip and black "eyebrows" above their eyes, which distinguishes them from others of the prairie dog species. They occur only in Utah, having the smallest range of any prairie dog species.
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Utah Prairie Dog
Giant Kangaroo Rat
Giant Kangaroo Rat
Giant kangaroo rats are the largest of the more than 20 kangaroo rat species. They are small rodents, so-named because they move by hopping with their powerful back legs. Their front limbs are smaller and used just for digging, while their hind legs are long and powerful. Their very long pointed tail acts like a rudder, providing balance. Their hind legs can propel them in leaps of more than 2 meters when they are escaping from predators. Giant ...
kangaroo rats in the wild can live for as long as 9.8 years, and in captivity up to 5 years.
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Giant Kangaroo Rat
Idaho Ground Squirrel
Idaho Ground Squirrel
The Idaho ground squirrel is one of the largest of the ground squirrels. Its back is dark reddish-gray from a mixture of yellowish-red banded and black unbanded guard hairs. It has an eye ring of an off-white color. Young Idaho ground squirrels molt, usually from May to early June, but adults do not molt and tend to have a longer coat. There are two subspecies living in Idaho: the northern Idaho ground squirrel, as well as the southern Idaho ...
ground squirrel.
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Idaho Ground Squirrel
Black-Footed Ferret
Black-Footed Ferret
The endangered Black-footed ferret belongs to the weasel family and is the only ferret that is native to North America. Domestic ferrets are a different species and of European origin. The Black-footed ferret was once found in the tens of thousands, however, by the 1960s they were almost extinct. Although still endangered, the species is on its way to making a comeback. Concerted efforts over the last thirty years from many federal and state ...
agencies, Native American tribes, private landowners, zoos, and conservation organizations have assisted in the survival of Black-footed ferrets.
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Black-Footed Ferret
Gunnison Sage-Grouse
Gunnison Sage-Grouse
The Gunnison sage-grouse is an endemic grouse of the United States. It was not recognized until 2000 as a different species to the greater sage-grouse. The Gunnison sage-grouse is smaller, and the male has a stronger banded pattern on its tail feathers. It is a large bird that has a small head, a chubby, round body, and a long tail. A male changes his shape dramatically when he displays, becoming almost spherical as he puffs up his chest, droops ...
his wings, and fans his tail into a starburst.
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Gunnison Sage-Grouse
Gopher Tortoise
Gopher Tortoise
The Gopher tortoise is one of a group of North American land tortoises that originated 60 million years ago, and is therefore one of the oldest species alive today. They are named for their ability to dig big, deep burrows. Their burrows are often used by a range of other species in the ecosystem, making these animals a keystone species having a pivotal role in their native community. They have front legs like shovels that help them dig, and ...
they have strong sturdy back legs. Like all tortoises, the undersides of the males’ shells are concave, which is different to the females. They also have longer tails, and their shells, which they use for butting or ramming, extend under their chins, but females are larger.
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Gopher Tortoise
Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse
Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse
Endemic to the U.S., this mouse is one of the smallest rodents in this country. Another important characteristic of the Salt marsh harvest mouse is its ability of drinking sea water as a result of adaptation to its salty environment. The Latin name of this species means “grooved-toothed mouse with a red belly”, referring to the grooved upper incisors of the animal, which, along with its furred tail, distinguish the Salty mouse from the similar hou ...
se mouse. In addition, this rodent is often mistaken for the Western harvest mouse, although differs from the latter by more reddish under parts, darker coloration of the back and ears as well as a thicker, more uniformly colored tail.
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Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse
American Alligator
American Alligator
The American alligator, a representative of reptiles, is a species of immense size. Typically, this alligator has short legs that, in spite of their size, allow the alligator to run and even gallop. The American alligator has 5 toes on its front legs and 4 toes on its back legs. It has a big hollow in its upper jaw, so when it closes the mouth, the huge 4th tooth of the lower jaw fits into this hollow and is not seen from the outside. American ...
alligators’ tail is smooth while the body is armored. When in the water, the alligator moves either onwards or backward; as for the latter, the tail helps him swim effectively. They have silverfish eyes. From the outer side, on the back, the alligators’ skin is armored with scutes and osteoderms (plates of bones). From the underside, an adult alligator is creamy-white while being either black or olive-brown outside. Young are identified by flaxen stripes on their tails.
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American Alligator
Florida Mouse
Florida Mouse
Florida mice have soft and silky pelage that is brown above and orange on the cheeks, shoulders, and lower sides. Underparts are white. The young are gray. Florida mice have relatively large, nearly naked ears, a relatively short tail approximately 80% of total body length, and large hind feet. There is no difference in appearance between males and females.
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Florida Mouse
Alpine Chipmunk
Alpine Chipmunk
Alpine chipmunks are gray-brown overall with muted orange flanks. They have three white stripes on the cheeks and four down the back. The upper part of their tail is grayish-white to yellow. Overall their pattern is much paler compared to most species.
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Alpine Chipmunk
Sonoma Chipmunk
Sonoma Chipmunk
Sonoma chipmunks are small ground-dwelling rodents in the squirrel family. These chipmunks have 5 black to brown stripes running along their body with white stripes in between. The rest parts of the body range from tawny to cinnamon to gray. Their belly is grayish white and tail is edged in white. Sonoma chipmunks have summer and winter pelage. The winter pelage is generally slightly darker and duller than the summer pelage.
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Sonoma Chipmunk
Olympic Marmot
Olympic Marmot
Olympic marmots are about the size of a domestic cat. They have a wide head with small eyes and ears; a stocky body with stubby legs and sharp, rounded claws adapted for digging. Their tails are long and bushy. The coat is double-layered and consists of soft thick underfur, for warmth, and coarser outer hairs. The fur color changes with the season and with age, but an adult marmot's coat is brown all over with small whiter areas for most of the ...
year. Their muzzle is almost always white, with a white band in front of the eyes.
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Olympic Marmot
San Joaquin Antelope Squirrel
San Joaquin Antelope Squirrel
The San Joaquin antelope squirrel or Nelson's antelope squirrel is a species of antelope squirrel, in the San Joaquin Valley of the U.S. state of California. These squirrels are dull yellowish-brown or buffy-clay in color on upper body and outer surfaces of the legs. They have a white belly and a white streak down each side of their body. The underside of their tail is a buffy white with black edges.
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San Joaquin Antelope Squirrel
Southern Short-Tailed Shrew
Southern Short-Tailed Shrew
The Southern short-tailed shrew is the smallest shrew in its genus. It has a comparatively heavy body, with short limbs and a thick neck, a long, pointed snout, and ears that are nearly concealed by its soft, dense fur. As its name indicates, the hairy tail is relatively short. The feet are adapted for digging, with five toes ending in sharp, curved claws. The fur is slate gray and is paler on the underparts.
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Southern Short-Tailed Shrew
Swift Fox
Swift Fox
Swift foxes are small creatures around the size of a domestic cat that live in North America. They have a dark, grayish, tan coloration that extends to a yellowish-tan color across their sides and legs. The throat, chest, and belly range from pale yellow to white in color. Their tail is black-tipped, and they have black patches on their muzzles. The ears are noticeably large. Males and females are similar in appearance, although males are ...
slightly larger.
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Swift Fox
Island Fox
Island Fox
The Island fox is a small fox that is native to six of the eight Channel Islands of California. There are six subspecies, each unique to the island it lives on, reflecting its evolutionary history. Island foxes are generally docile, show little fear of humans, and are easily tamed. They have gray fur on their head, a ruddy red coloring on their sides, white fur on their belly, throat and the lower half of their face. There is also a black stripe ...
on the dorsal surface of their tail. Males in this species are always larger than the females.
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Island Fox
Corn Snake
Corn Snake
The Corn snake is a North American species of rat snake. Their docile nature, reluctance to bite, moderate adult size, attractive pattern, and comparatively simple care make them commonly kept pet snakes. Though superficially resembling the venomous copperhead and often killed as a result of this mistaken identity, Corn snakes are harmless and beneficial to humans. These snakes are usually orange or yellowish-brown in color with large, ...
black-edged red blotches down their back. There are black and white marks on their bellies, which resemble a checkerboard pattern. Corn snakes are named for their regular presence near grain stores, where they prey on mice and rats that eat harvested corn.
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Corn Snake
American Anole
American Anole
The American anole is an arboreal anole lizard native to the southeastern United States and introduced elsewhere. It is also sometimes referred to as the American chameleon due to its ability to change color from several brown hues to bright green, and its somewhat similar appearance and diet preferences. However, it is not a true chameleon and the nickname is misleading although it can camouflage. The typical coloration for American anole ...
ranges from the richest and brightest of greens to the darkest of browns, with little variation in between. The male dewlap (throat fan) is three times the size of the female's and bright red, whereas that of the female is lighter in color, ranging from white to pale pink. Females have a prominent white stripe running along their spine, a feature most males lack. The toes of these lizards have adhesive pads to facilitate climbing.
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American Anole
Alabama Red-Bellied Turtle
Alabama Red-Bellied Turtle
The Alabama red-bellied turtle is a species of pond turtle native to Alabama. Their carapace varies in color and can be greenish to dark brown or black with yellowish, orange, or reddish markings on the sides. The plastron may be pale yellow to red in color. The skin is olive to black with yellowish facial stripes. These turtles are the official reptile of the state of Alabama.
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Alabama Red-Bellied Turtle
Water Moccasin
Water Moccasin
The Water moccasin is a venomous snake, a species of pit viper native to the southeastern United States. As an adult, it is large and capable of delivering a painful and potentially fatal bite. Water moccasins are almost or even totally black, (with the exception of the head and facial markings), the color pattern may consist of a brown, gray, tan, yellowish-olive, or blackish ground color, which is overlaid with a series of 10-17 dark brown to ...
almost black crossbands. The underside of the head is generally whitish, cream, or tan.
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Water Moccasin
Alligator Snapping Turtle
Alligator Snapping Turtle
The Alligator snapping turtle is one of the heaviest freshwater turtles in the world. This turtle is given its common name because of its immensely powerful jaws and distinct ridges on its shell that are similar in appearance to the rough, ridged skin of an alligator. Alligator snapping turtles have a large, heavy head, and a long, thick shell with three dorsal ridges of large scales (osteoderms), giving them a primitive appearance reminiscent ...
of some of the plated dinosaurs. The turtles are a solid gray, brown, black, or olive-green in color, and often covered with algae. They have radiating yellow patterns around their eyes, serving to break up the outline of the eyes to keep the turtle camouflaged. Their eyes are also surrounded by a star-shaped arrangement of fleshy, filamentous "eyelashes".
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Alligator Snapping Turtle
Timber Rattlesnake
Timber Rattlesnake
The Timber rattlesnake is a large venomous pit viper native to eastern North America. Dorsally, these snakes have a pattern of dark brown or black crossbands on a yellowish-brown or grayish background. The crossbands have irregular zig-zag edges and may be V-shaped or M-shaped. Often a rust-colored vertebral stripe is present. Ventrally they are yellowish, uniform or marked with black. Melanism is common, and some individuals are very dark, ...
almost solid black.
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Timber Rattlesnake
Western Rat Snake
Western Rat Snake
The Western rat snake is a large non-venomous snake found in central North America. Juveniles are strongly patterned with brown blotches on a gray background. Darkening occurs rapidly as they grow. Adults are glossy black above with white lips, chin, and throat. Sometimes traces of the "obsolete" juvenile pattern are still discernible in the skin between the scales, especially when stretched after a heavy meal. Aside from the usual variety that ...
is black or has patches of black on a lighter background, color variations include a brown-to-black variant, often with tinges of orange or red, that can be found in southern Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana.
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Western Rat Snake
Southern Black Racer
Southern Black Racer
The Southern black racer is a very common subspecies of the Eastern racer. It's non-venomous and is found in the Southeastern United States. Adults are usually thin with a jet black dorsal side with a grey belly and white chin. Juveniles are gray in color with distinct reddish-brown blotches that fade into a solid-colored tail. These snakes are quite fast, giving rise to the name "racer".
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Southern Black Racer
Eastern Indigo Snake
Eastern Indigo Snake
The Eastern indigo snake is a large, non-venomous snake native to the eastern United States. It is the longest native snake species in the U.S. These snakes have uniform blue-black dorsal and lateral scales, with some specimens having a reddish-orange to tan color on the throat, cheeks, and chin. They received their common name from the glossy iridescent ventral scales which can be seen as blackish-purple in bright light. Unlike many snakes, ...
mature male indigo snakes are slightly larger than females.
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Eastern Indigo Snake
Pygmy Rattlesnake
Pygmy Rattlesnake
The Pygmy rattlesnake is a small venomous snake native to the United States. The dorsal pattern of these snakes consists of a series of oval or subcircular spots with reasonably regular edges. The spots on the flanks are mostly round. Their belly is usually gray or dusky cream in color. Juveniles have a color pattern that is similar to the adults, although it may be paler or more vividly marked, and the tip of their tail is yellow.
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Pygmy Rattlesnake
Hawaiian Hawk
Hawaiian Hawk
Hawaiian hawks are graceful birds of prey native to Hawai'i. They exist in two color phases: a dark phase (dark brown head, breast, and underwings), and a light color phase (dark head, light breast and light underwings). Feet and legs are yellowish in adults and greenish in juveniles. During breeding season one of the pair, possibly the female, has a distinctive yellow forecap area just above the upper mandible.
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Hawaiian Hawk
Florida Scrub-Jay
Florida Scrub-Jay
The Florida scrub-jay is native to North America. It has a strong black bill, blue head, and nape without a crest, a whitish forehead, and supercilium (a stripe on the head), blue bib, blue wings, grayish underparts, gray back, long blue tail, black legs, and feet. The Florida scrub-jay is the only species of bird endemic to the U.S. state of Florida and because of this, it is heavily sought by birders who travel from across the country to ...
observe this unique species.
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Florida Scrub-Jay
Carolina Parakeet
Carolina Parakeet
The Carolina parakeet is an extinct species of small green parrot native to the eastern, midwest and plains states of the United States. Though formerly prevalent within its range, the bird had become rare by the middle of the 19th century and the last confirmed sighting in the wild was in 1910. The last known specimen perished in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1918 and in 1939 the species was declared extinct.
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Carolina Parakeet
Lesser Prairie Chicken
Lesser Prairie Chicken
The Lesser prairie chicken a medium to large grouse, striped white and brown, slightly smaller and paler than its near relative the Greater prairie chicken. Like its larger relative, it is also known for its lekking behavior.
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Lesser Prairie Chicken
Red-Cockaded Woodpecker
Red-Cockaded Woodpecker
Red-cockaded woodpeckers are rare forest birds native to the southeastern United States. Their back is barred with black and white horizontal stripes. The most distinguishing feature of these woodpeckers is a black cap and nape that encircle large white cheek patches. Rarely visible, except perhaps during the breeding season and periods of territorial defense, the males have a small red streak on each side of their black cap called a 'cockade', ...
hence their name.
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Red-Cockaded Woodpecker
Prairie Kingsnake
Prairie Kingsnake
The Prairie kingsnake is a nonvenomous species of kingsnake native to North America. It is light brown or grey in color, with dark grey, dark brown, or reddish-brown blotching down the length of their bodies. Some specimens have their markings faded, to appear almost a solid brown color. Juveniles usually have a brown stripe down the back of their bodies. They have two black spots behind the head and smaller black spots down the back on both ...
sides of the stripe.
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Prairie Kingsnake
Banded Water Snake
Banded Water Snake
The Banded water snake is a mostly aquatic, nonvenomous snake native to the United States. It is typically gray, greenish-gray, or brown in color, with dark crossbanding. Many specimens are so dark in color that their patterning is barely discernible. They have flat heads and are fairly heavy-bodied.
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Banded Water Snake
Broad-Headed Skink
Broad-Headed Skink
The Broad-headed skink is a nonvenomous species of lizard, native to the United States. It gets its name from the wide jaws, giving the head a triangular appearance. Adult males are brown or olive-brown in color and have bright orange heads during the mating season in spring. Females have five light stripes running down the back and the tail. Juveniles are dark brown or black and also striped and have blue tails.
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Broad-Headed Skink
Rainbow Snake
Rainbow Snake
The Rainbow snake is a large, nonvenomous, highly aquatic snake that is found in the southeastern United States. Dorsally, it has smooth, glossy bluish-black back scales, with three red stripes. It has a short tail, with a spiny tip which it sometimes uses as a probe. Adults may show yellow coloration along the sides and on the head. Females of this species are larger than males.
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Rainbow Snake
Southern Hognose Snake
Southern Hognose Snake
The Southern hog-nosed snake is a harmless snake species native to the southeastern United States. It is small but stout with a wide neck and a sharply upturned snout. The dorsal color pattern consists of a light brown, yellowish, grayish, or reddish ground color, overlaid with a distinct row of dark blotches that alternate with smaller blotches on the flanks. The belly is distinctly darker in color than the underside of the tail in juveniles. ...
As the snake ages, the underside usually becomes a pale white.
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Southern Hognose Snake
Rough Earth Snake
Rough Earth Snake
The Rough earth snake, is a species of nonvenomous colubrid snake native to the southeastern United States. It has a round pupil, weakly keeled dorsal scales, and usually a divided anal plate. Dorsally, it is brown, gray, or reddish, and essentially has no pattern. Females are a little longer and heavier than males, with relatively shorter tails. Young individuals often have a light band on the neck, which is normally lost as they mature. The ...
belly is tan to whitish and is not sharply defined in color from the back.
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Rough Earth Snake
Red wolf
Red wolf
The red wolf is a canine native to the southeastern United States. Morphologically it is intermediate between the coyote and gray wolf, and is very closely related to the eastern wolf of eastern Canada. The red wolf's proper taxonomic classification has been contentious for well over a century, and is still under debate. Because of this, it is sometimes excluded from endangered species lists, despite its critically low numbers. Under the ...
Endangered Species Act of 1973, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service currently recognizes the red wolf as an endangered species and grants protected status. Canis rufus is not listed in the CITES Appendices of endangered species. Since 1996 the IUCN has listed it as a Critically Endangered species.
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Red wolf
Hellbender
Hellbender
The hellbender, also known as the hellbender salamander, is a species of aquatic giant salamander endemic to the eastern and central United States. A member of the family Cryptobranchidae, the hellbender is the only extant member of the genus Cryptobranchus. Other closely related salamanders in the same family are in the genus Andrias, which contains the Japanese and Chinese giant salamanders. The hellbender, which is much larger than all other ...
salamanders in its geographic range, employs an unusual means of respiration, and fills a particular niche—both as a predator and prey—in its ecosystem, which either it or its ancestors have occupied for around 65 million years. The species is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
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Hellbender
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