Endangered

  • Aquatic Invertebrates

  • Media
    Photo of a coldwater crayfish.
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Faxonius eupunctus (formerly Orconectes eupunctus)
    Description
    The coldwater crayfish has a very localized distribution in the Eleven Point River system. It is stout, with a blue-green head and pincers and dark, rust-brown carapace. It is an imperiled species.
  • Media
    Photograph of Ebonyshell freshwater mussel shell exterior view
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Fusconaia ebena
    Description
    At one time the most valuable shell to the commercial button industry, the ebonyshell is now classified as Endangered in Missouri and is a candidate for federal Endangered status.
  • Media
    elephant's ear
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Elliptio crassidens
    Description
    Today found only in the Meramec River, the elephantear has been classified as Endangered in Missouri and is a candidate for federal Endangered status.
  • Media
    pink mucket
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Lampsilis abrupta
    Description
    This endangered native mussel lives in flowing waters of large streams among gravel and cobble.
  • Media
    scaleshell
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Leptodea leptodon
    Description
    Rarely seen, this Endangered freshwater mussel has a thin and delicate shell that is strikingly beautiful inside.
  • Media
    Photograph of Sheepnose freshwater mussel shell exterior view
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Plethobasus cyphyus
    Description
    The sheepnose has been classified as Endangered in Missouri and is a candidate for federal Endangered status.
  • Media
    Snuffbox
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Epioblasma triquetra
    Description
    The snuffbox has been classified as Endangered in Missouri and is a candidate for federal Endangered status. Perhaps it should also be a candidate for a new common name, since the popularity of snuff-taking is long past.

  • Birds

  • Media
    Image of bachman's sparrow
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Peucaea aestivalis (formerly Aimophila aestivalis)
    Description
    Bachman's sparrow is a large, ground-nesting sparrow that lives in dry, scrubby areas. It is listed as endangered in Missouri, where its historic habitat is in decline.
  • Media
    Photo of a male greater prairie-chicken in courtship display
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Tympanuchus cupido
    Description
    The greater prairie chicken breeds in select grasslands in the spring, filling the air with their unusual booming calls. With their numbers dwindling, this rare bird needs strong conservation support.
  • Media
    Image of a least tern
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Sternula antillarum
    Description
    Originally, the least tern lived on islands, beaches, and sandbars in big rivers, but as these areas have become rare, these birds have been forced to “make do” with dredge islands, dikefields, sandpits, and gravel roads atop levees. Because of their habitat loss, they are now endangered.
  • Media
    Photo of a northern harrier in flight, viewed from side
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Circus hudsonius (sometimes called C. cyaneus)
    Description
    The northern harrier is a hawk of wetlands and grasslands. It has long wings and tail, a white rump patch, and an owl-like facial disk. Males are gray, females are brown. The flight pattern is distinctive.
  • Media
    Closeup photo of head of peregrine falcon
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Falco peregrinus
    Description
    The fastest living animal, the peregrine falcon can dive at speeds of up to 261 miles per hour! It is being reintroduced to the state in urban areas, where skyscrapers replace the cliffs it traditionally nested on.

  • Fishes

  • Media
     Central mudminnow side view photo with black background
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Umbra limi
    Description
    The central mudminnow is is the only mudminnow that occurs in our state, and it is rare, occurring only in a few marshy locations near the Mississippi River. Mudminnows are closely related to the pikes.
  • Media
    Flathead chub side view photo with black background
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Platygobio gracilis
    Description
    The flathead chub is a slender, silvery minnow with small eyes, sickle-shaped pectoral fins, and wedge-shaped head with a pointed snout. Native to Missouri's big rivers and their tributaries, it is now state endangered.
  • Media
    Ozark cavefish side view photo with black background
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Amblyopsis rosae
    Description
    The Ozark cavefish is small, colorless, and blind. It lives only in springs, cave streams, and underground waters. It has been declared Endangered in our state and as Threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Media
    Spring cavefish side view photo with black background
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Forbesichthys agassizi
    Description
    The spring cavefish is the only cavefish in our state that has eyes, however small, and whose body is yellowish brown or brown; our other cavefishes lack eyes entirely and are pale and nearly colorless.
  • Media
    Crystal darter side view photo with black background
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Crystallaria asprella
    Description
    The crystal darter is Endangered in Missouri. Formerly known from many river drainages in the east-central and southeastern parts of our state, this pale, very slender darter apparently now lives only in the Gasconade and Black rivers.
  • Media
    Cypress minnow side view photo with black background
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Hybognathus hayi
    Description
    The cypress minnow, like its Bootheel swampland habitat, is in danger of vanishing from Missouri. On the forward part of this fish's side, note the distinct cross-hatched pattern made by the dark-edged scales.
  • Media
    Goldstripe darter side view photo with black background
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Etheostoma parvipinne
    Description
    The endangered goldstripe darter needs small, shallow, shaded, spring-fed streams with clear water and a low to moderate gradient. It occurs in only a few locations in southeastern Missouri.
  • Media
    Grotto sculpin side view photo with black background
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Cottus specus
    Description
    The grotto sculpin is a rare fish adapted cave conditions. It has recently been designated an endangered species under the Federal Endangered Species Act. It's found only in Perry County, Missouri.
  • Media
    Harlequin darter side view photo with black background
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Etheostoma histrio
    Description
    In Missouri, the harlequin darter occurs only in our southeastern lowlands, in flowing streams and ditches with sandy bottoms. It is State Endangered because its small numbers and limited range make it vulnerable to extirpation.
  • Media
    Lake sturgeon side view photo with black background
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Acipenser fulvescens
    Description
    The lake sturgeon is Missouri’s largest sturgeon and is rare and endangered in our state. Note its conical (not shovel-nosed) snout. Despite its name, in Missouri this fish is almost always found in big rivers, not lakes.
  • Media
    Longnose darter side view photo with black background
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Percina nasuta
    Description
    The longnose darter is slender, with a series of 10 to 15 small, indistinct, dark blotches or bars along the midside. It is endangered in Missouri, today known only from the St. Francis River and Lake Wappapello. Historically, it occurred in the White River.
  • Media
    Mountain madtom side view photo with black background
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Noturus eleutherus
    Description
    The mountain madtom is rare and endangered in Missouri. This small catfish has been recorded from only a few locations in the southeastern portion of the state.
  • Media
    Neosho madtom side view photo with black background
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Noturus placidus
    Description
    The Neosho madtom is an endangered species in Missouri. It is our smallest catfish. It lives under rocks in riffles or runs in the clear waters of Spring River in Jasper County.
  • Media
    Niangua darter female, side view photo with black background
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Etheostoma nianguae
    Description
    Two small black spots at the base of the tail fin distinguish the Niangua darter from all other darters in Missouri. Known from only a few tributaries of the Osage River, this dainty, colorful fish is a nationally threatened species.
  • Media
    Pallid sturgeon side view photo with black background
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Scaphirhynchus albus
    Description
    The pallid sturgeon is federally and state endangered. This rarely found but widely distributed bottom dweller lives mostly in the Missouri and lower Mississippi rivers.
  • Media
    Redfin darter side view photo with black background
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Etheostoma whipplei
    Description
    The redfin darter is one of Missouri's rarest darters and is endangered in our state. It is part of a highly distinctive fish community living in the lower Spring River and its North Fork, in Jasper and Barton counties.
  • Media
    Sabine shiner side view photo with black background
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Notropis sabinae
    Description
    In Missouri, the Sabine shiner is known only from a short stretch of the Black River in Butler County. This slender, silvery minnow has a bluntly rounded snout that projects slightly beyond the upper lip.
  • Media
    Swamp darter side view photo with black background
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Etheostoma fusiforme
    Description
    Unlike most other darters, the swamp darter prefers swamps and sloughs with no current at all. Rare in our state, it’s found only in a few southeast Missouri locations.
  • Media
    Taillight shiner male in spawning colors, side view photo with black background
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Notropis maculatus
    Description
    One of the rarest Missouri minnows, the taillight shiner is known only from a few localities in southeast Missouri, in habitats representing the last remnants of low-gradient streams and swamps once common in that region.
  • Media
    Topeka shiner female, side view photo with black background
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Notropis topeka
    Description
    Found in only a few Missouri streams, the Topeka shiner is an endangered native minnow that has declined dramatically because of environmental pollution, siltation, and loss or alteration of habitat.

  • Land Invertebrates

  • Media
    Photo of an American burying beetle
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Nicrophorus americanus
    Description
    The American burying beetle is endangered statewide and nationally. Restoration efforts are under way. This brightly patterned beetle specializes in cleaning carrion from the landscape, burying dead mice, birds, and other creatures.
  • Media
    Photo of a Hine's emerald dragonfly
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Somatochlora hineana
    Description
    The Hine's emerald dragonfly is a federally endangered species. It has a dark emerald-green thorax and two yellow stripes on its sides. It lives in calcareous spring-fed marshes and sedge meadows overlaying dolomite bedrock.

  • Mammals

  • Media
    Image of a spotted skunk
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Spilogale putorius
    Description
    Of the two species of skunks in Missouri, the eastern spotted skunk is less common and lesser known. It has been declining drastically in recent years because of habitat loss.
  • Media
    Photo of four gray myotises clinging to a cave ceiling.
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Myotis grisescens
    Description
    Gray myotises are difficult to distinguish from other mouse-eared bats. A key identifying feature of the gray myotis is that its wing is attached to the ankle and not at the base of the toes. It’s an endangered species.
  • Media
    Collared, grayish-tan wolf in open field
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Canis lupus
    Description
    The gray wolf originally ranged throughout Missouri, but with settlement the species was gradually exterminated. While there is no evidence of a breeding population in the state, wolves are listed as a protected species in Missouri, and they occasionally wander into Missouri from northern states.
  • Media
    Photo of an Indiana myotis hanging from a cave ceiling.
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Myotis sodalis
    Description
    The Indiana myotis, or Indiana bat, summers along streams and rivers in north Missouri, raising its young under the bark of certain trees. It is an endangered species.

  • Reptiles and Amphibians

  • Media
    Image of a blanding's turtle
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Emydoidea blandingii
    Description
    Blanding’s turtle has an oval, moderately high-domed upper shell and a long head and neck. This medium-sized turtle is endangered in Missouri.
  • Media
    hellbender, a large brown salamander resting in gravelly streambed
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Cryptobranchus alleganiensis
    Description
    You might think they’re ugly by human standards, but hellbenders are a unique part of our wildlife heritage. They direly need help, or they might soon become extinct.
  • Media
    Image of a Mississippi green watersnake
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Nerodia cyclopion
    Description
    The Mississippi green watersnake is a medium-sized, heavy-bodied, dark-colored semiaquatic snake that was once somewhat common in southeastern Missouri. It probably no longer occurs in our state at all.
  • Media
    Image of a massasauga
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Sistrurus tergeminus tergeminus
    Description
    The prairie massasauga is a shy, reclusive, nonaggressive rattlesnake. It used to live in floodplain wetlands of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Grand rivers, but it is now endangered.
  • Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Deirochelys reticularia miaria
    Description
    The western chicken turtle is a small-to medium-sized turtle with an oval shell and extremely long neck. It is endangered in Missouri, occurring only in the Mississippi Lowlands in the extreme southeastern part of the state.
  • Media
    Photo of a yellow mud turtle.
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Kinosternon flavescens flavescens
    Description
    The yellow mud turtle is a small, olive to dark-colored, semiaquatic turtle restricted to west-central, northeastern, and southwestern Missouri and is an endangered species in our state.

  • Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines

  • Media
    Illustration of pondberry leaves, flowers, fruits.
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Lindera melissifolia
    Description
    Pondberry is a colony-forming shrub that grows in swampy depressions in lowland forests. It is an Endangered species. In Missouri, only one population occurs, in southern Ripley County.
  • Media
    Illustration of red-berried elderberry leaves, flowers, fruits
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Sambucus pubens
    Description
    Red-berried elderberry reaches 24 feet in height and does not form colonies. Its white flowers, and later, red berries, are in pyramidal clusters. In Missouri, it’s known only from Marion County.

  • Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants

  • Media
    Photo of several decurrent false asters in bloom
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Boltonia decurrens
    Description
    A big river floodplain species, decurrent false aster has declined as wetlands have been drained and converted to agricultural crop production.
  • Media
    Photo of a geocarpon plant showing stems and foliage
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Geocarpon minimum
    Description
    Geocarpon is a tiny, inconspicuous plant found almost exclusively on sandstone glade outcrops. Extremely rare, it is a Species of Conservation Concern. It is related to carnations!
  • Media
    Photo of Mead's milkweed flower cluster and upper stem leaves
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Asclepias meadii
    Description
    Mead’s milkweed, an endangered plant, once flourished in the tallgrass prairies of the Midwestern United States, including most of Missouri.
  • Media
    Photo of Missouri bladderpod flowers
    Species Types
    Scientific Name
    Physaria filiformis (formerly Lesquerella filiformis)
    Description
    Missouri bladderpod is a small, yellow-flowered member of the mustard family that is found only in southwest Missouri. It gets its name from the spherical fruits or “bladders” that contain seeds.