Canada Lynx kittens
Image credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Chances are you that you know a little bit about endangered species likes pandas, tigers, and sea turtles. What you might not know is that there are endangered species living in every US State!

If you want to help endangered species, you can really make a huge impression right in your own backyard.

It’s a great idea to learn which plants and animals on the endangered species list live in your state. Some of them are actually pretty cool (and totally worth saving!)

If you live in Michigan, you’ve come to the right place. Here is a list of a few endangered species that live right here in Michigan (and a little bit of info about each one.) After learning about each plant and animal, you can get a start on working out a solution for the species that live in your area.

Piping plover
Image credit: Mdf

Canada Lynx
The Canada lynx is on the “threatened list.” This small breed of wild cat has silver-ish brown fur, sometimes with black highlights and is said to resemble a bobcat.

Pitcher’s thistle

These timid cats mostly feed on small animals and, like most cats, are primarily nocturnal. That said, there have been daytime sightings of these beautiful cats.

Piping Plover
This bird is mostly found along the shores of Lakes Michigan and Superior and the Atlantic coastline. Conservation efforts have helped to improve the number of nesting pairs and the range in which sightings of piping plovers have been confirmed.

Pitcher’s Thistle (also known as dune thistle)
Pitcher’s thistle is a plant that grows along the shoreline of Lakes Michigan, Superior and Huron. Before it flowers, it looks like a cluster of silvery leaves. Its flowering form is a stem with several branches with cream or pink colored flowers at the end of the branches and leaf axils. The leaves have spines near the base and at the tips of the lobes.

Mitchell’s Satyr Butterfly
Image credit: Chris Hoving

Mitchell’s Satyr Butterfly
The Mitchell’s Satyr butterfly has a 1 3/4″ wingspan and a rich brown color with orange-rimmed black circular eyespots on the wings.

They favor wetlands called fens, where nutrients are scarce and mostly supplied by carbonate-rich ground water from seeps and springs. The caterpillars feed on grass-like plants called sedges. It is unknown what the adult butterflies feed on.

The range of the Indiana bat population

Indiana Bat
Like many bats, the Indiana bat tends to gather in trees, caves, barns, and other readily available protected places.

These bats live in large colonies, sometimes numbering in the tens of thousands. While these colonies seem kind of large for an endangered species, it’s important to note that the Indiana bat population has declined by a whopping 50% in just the past decade.

With over half of the population of Indiana bats living in the state of Indiana, it’s easy to guess where they got their name. Other colonies exist throughout southern Michigan and in many eastern US states.

You can help these bats by building a bat house. They’ll pay you back for the help, too! Bats eat a ton of insects, so they’re a great defense against mosquitos!

Copperbelly Water Snake
The Copperbelly Water Snake has a dark-colored back and a bright orange-red underbelly. They favor low-lying swamps and other calm bodies of water. They hibernate over the winter in upland woods.

Copperbelly Water Snake

What You Can Do To Protect Local Endangered Species
-Learn how to identify threatened or endangered plants and animals. Some endangered plants are often mistakenly destroyed as weeds and endangered animals could be killed as a potential nuisance.

-Support conservation efforts at state and federal parks. Some parks may have volunteer programs for picking up litter and other conservation tasks. If you visit a local park, be sure to stay on the trails to avoid trampling endangered plants and protect yourself from potentially poisonous plants and animals.

-Support funding for conservation efforts. Some organizations are actively involved in conserving endangered species. Show your support for top conservation organizations.