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The 24 Most Endangered Animals In Wisconsin

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Wisconsin is one of the most enriched states in America in terms of having many wondrous animals. However, many of these wondrous creatures are also risking extinction – therefore, we’ve listed the most endangered animals in Wisconsin for you.

the most endangered animals in Wisconsin

Its rich animal-life is probably due to its impressive land diversity. From woodlands to beaches, hills to rivers, and wetlands to grassland, you will be amazed to see the diversified landscape of Wisconsin.

Thanks to its diverse landscape, it is no wonder that Wisconsin is home to around 700 different and unique species of animals.

Keeping their rapid reduction in numbers in mind, the Wisconsin Wildlife Administration has enlisted around twenty-four animals as the most endangered in Wisconsin. Among these twenty-four animals, many different species are featured – such as wolves, bats, sea animals, and even birds

Here is a detailed outline of Wisconsin’s twenty-four most endangered animals

#1 Higgins Eye – Pearly Mussel (Lampsilis Higginsii)

Higgins Eye is the rarest species of sea animal you will find in Wisconsin. These are one of the most expensive and beautiful mussels with genuine pearls, which is why they are also known as Pearly Mussels. The scientific name of these mussels is Lampsilis Higginsii. 

Higgins’s eyes were declared endangered in 2001. You can find a small amount of these mussels around the beaches of Wisconsin, as the state is considered their home. Importantly, they are expensive and contain one of the most highly-rated pearls. 

Higgins Eye is getting extinct because they cannot survive in polluted water. The Eastern US holds 70% of the freshwater mussels at the moment, which may also become extinct if the water’s pollution doesn’t decrease with time. 

#2 Dragonfly – Hine’s Emerald (Somatochlora Hineana) 

Hine's Emerald Dragonfly

Hine’s Emerald is one of the rarest dragonflies, their scientific name is Somatochlora Hineana. The Us Wildlife Administration has declared them one of the most endangered species in Wisconsin, standing on the brink of extinction. 

The estimated amount of Hine’s Emerald left was 30,000 in 2013. By now, approximately 20,000 of these dragonflies are left in the world and can be found only in Canada and the US. A large portion of their total population can be spotted around Wisconsin in the US. 

However, this dragonfly is now considered endangered because they are rapidly getting fewer in number. One significant threat to them is the depletion and contamination of groundwater caused by the nearby development. 

Hine’s Emerald isn’t extinct yet, but if there is an increase in the amount of contaminated groundwater, it may become extinct much sooner than anticipated.

#3 Butterfly – Karner Blue Entire (Lycaeides Melissa Samuels)

Karner Blue Entire

Numerous butterflies are endangered, and some have even been declared extinct. Karner Blue Entire is one such species and mainly exists in the state of Wisconsin.

It is one of the most beautiful butterflies in the world. Belonging to the family of Lycaeides, the scientific name of this butterfly is Lycaeides Melissa Samuels. 

Importantly, this particular species of butterfly was declared endangered in 1992. It was probably due to the rapid decrease in their population after the wildfire suppression. Also, habitat loss, clearing of land for farms, and land development for residential and commercial purposes were other contributing factors. 

However, you may still find some Karner blue butterflies around Wisconsin, as these butterflies are native to Wisconsin. 

#4 Winged Mapleleaf (Quadrula Frogosa)

The Winged mapleleaf is an underwater species with the scientific name Quadrula Fragosa. It is a particular species of mussel, also known as “false mapleleaf” or the “hickory net shell.” 

These mussels are becoming extinct because of rising water levels, which is why they were declared an endangered species in 1991. The US wildlife service suggests that the water must stay constant between 1,3 to 6,5 feet (0.4 to 2.0 meters) to ensure these mussels survive. 

It is illegal to harm, catch, or kill them so they don’t go extinct, as per the US Wildlife Association. These mussels can be seen around the beaches in Wisconsin, US.  

#5 Sheepnose Mussel (Plethobasus Cpyhyus) 

Sheepnose is another aquatic species of mussels found in deep clean water. The scientific name of Sheepnose is Plethobasus Cpyhyus, colloquially known as “bullhead.” However, these mussels are getting extinct because of the increasingly polluted water. 

These mussels are now rarely seen around Winsconsin because of their population decrease. These mussels are declared endangered, with only 20% of their total number left in the world. If there is no improvement in water quality, they may very well be extinct within the near future.

#6 Snuffbox Mussel (Epioblasma Triquetra)

Snuffbox, also called a rock monster, is an underwater species. These freshwater mussels are mainly found in deep clean water. The scientific name of this mussel is Epioblasma Triquetra. Snuffbox is declared endangered by the US government.

Additionally, they are wild, so their extinction may threaten many other water species. Snuffbox mussels have been announced as endangered animals in Wisconsin, so it isn’t easy to see them around the beaches. Merely 40% of the Snuffbox mussel population remains in Wisconsin. 

#7 Plover – Pipping Great Lakes Watershed (Charadrius Melodus) 

Pipping great plover

Pipping great plover is an uncommon bird that is declared as threatened globally. The scientific name of Pipping plover is Charadruis Melodus. Around 4,000 pipping plovers are left worldwide. In other words, they are nearly extinct.

These birds have been declared endangered for several reasons, such as the lack of habitat. Pipping plovers have fewer and fewer places to nest because of human development. 

As of recent, they tend to lay eggs on the beaches due to lacking proper habitats, which is why they cannot protect their eggs. If you’re lucky, you can spot them around the shores of Wisconsin, US. 

#8 Skipperling – Powesheik (Orisma Powesheik) 

The Poweshiek skipperling is a rare butterfly that is risking extinction because of the polluted environment. This skipperling is also called Orisma Poweshiek. 

According to the US wildlife association, this particular species of butterfly was declared endangered in 2014. However, the remaining species were given a special habitat in 2015. They are primarily threatened because of habitat loss. 

Still, the Poweshiek skipperling can be seen around areas in Wisconsin and a few places in Michigan. The US government has officially announced that they are endangered, and any damage to skipperlings is illegal. 

#9 Spectaclecase Mussel (Cumbarlandia Monodonta) 

Spectaclecase is another aquatic species that is endangered due to polluted water. The scientific name of these mussels is Cumbarlandia Monodonta. 

Interestingly, Spectaclecase was declared endangered by the US. Fish and Wildlife Association and the IUCN in 1984 already. However, many Spectaclecase mussels can be seen around Winsconsin as there are native to Winscson beaches. 

Moreover, they are becoming extinct because of their habitat loss due to human impacts like chemical contaminants, channelization, and mining. Together they all negatively affect water quality, causing high levels of pollution. 

#10 Kirtland’s Warbler (Dendroica kirtlandii) 

Kirtland's Warbler

Kirtland’s Warbler is a small bird, often called Jack Pine Bird. The scientific name of this bird is Dendroica Kirtlandii or Setophaga kirtlandii. They are one of the rarest birds that can sing and live in the jack pine forests of Michigan and different parts of Wisconsin. 

Moreover, they don’t lay eggs very frequently, which is one of the reasons why they are left in a minimal amount. That’s why the respective administration listed them endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 1973. You rarely see Kirtland’s Warbler as they have yielded most of their habitat due to human development. 

#11 Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) 

gray wolf

Gray Wolves are among the most beautiful wolves and like to live in cold places. The scientific name of this beautiful type of wolf is Canis lupus. Sadly, Gray wolves were declared endangered in 1926 by the US Fish and Wildlife Association.

The reason for their endangerment was due to wrongful assumptions of people living in the area. They thought that this wolf could be a threat to their livestock, which is why they started killing and haunting them. Resultantly, they migrated to new habitats, such as Wisconsin. 

That is also one of the reasons why you won’t see them in the places they used to live before. By now, most Gray wolves live in Wisconsin, which is deemed a secure and healthy state. However, the species is still considered endangered. 

#12 Northern Long-Eared Bat (Myotis Septentrionalis) 

YouTube video

Northern long-eared bats with the scientific name of Myotis Septentrionalis are considered one of the rarest bats on the planet. This bat has been declared an endangered species and faces many threats. 

The leading cause of their endangerment is the increase of white-nose syndrome, a deadly disease affecting these bats in the whole state. 

Consequently, these bats have also been declared endangered in Wisconsin, considered one of the biggest hubs of northern long-eared bats. 

#13 Red-Knot (Calidris Canutus Rufa) 

red knot bird

It is a small bird with an extended lifespan of more than 15 years. The scientific name of the Red Knot is Calidris Canutus Rufa. Red Knot is not declared extinct yet, but is listed as one of the most endangered animals because of food shortage, which is why they migrate from one place to another all the time. 

In the last ten years, the population of Red Knots has decreased by roughly 80%, which is why they are on the edge of extinction. If you do happen to see a Red Knot, it will be around the beach edges of Wisconsin, US. 

#14 Canada Contiguous Lynx (Lynx Canadensis) 

canadian lynx

Canada Lynx is a wild cat also known by its scientific name, the Lynx Canadensis. This furry cat lives in the forests and mountains. Due to the loss of the United States’ most extensive forests, there is a visible decrease in the number of these wild cats

Simply put, the main reasons the Canada Lynx is decreasing are habitat loss, cleavage, fire suppression, and human development. Together they are causing a significant loss of these beautiful and rare wild cats. 

The International Union of Conservation of Nature has declared these wild cats endangered and will go extinct if their habitat is not given due care.

#15 Blanchard’s Cricket Frog (Acris Blanchardi) 

Blanchard's Cricket Frog

Blanchard’s Cricket Frog is one of the rarest frogs found in Wisconsin, US. The science-given name of this frog is Acris blanchardi. 

They became endangered because they lost their habitat. They used to live in ponds and lakes, which have now turned into pools of extremely polluted water.

Subsequently, the Blanchard’s Cricket Frog was declared endangered and listed as a threatened animal in 1989, and a safety act for these frogs was initiated in 1999. 

#16 Eastern Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus) 

YouTube video

Eastern Ribbonsnake, with the scientific name of Thamnophis sauritus, is a special species of snake that is currently endangered and gradually becoming extinct. They were declared endangered by the Ontario Endangered Species Act in 2007. 

Additionally, a remarkable decrease in the presence of Eastern Ribbon Snake has been documented in the last few years – making it one of the most endangered animals in Wisconsin.

The major cause of the Eastern Ribbonsnake’s endangerment is the humid and polluted environment caused by human development. This environmental factor is accelerating the extinction of these snakes. However, some of the Eastern Ribbon Snakes can be seen around the cliffs of Winsconsin, US. 

#17 Greater Prairie Chicken (Tympanuchus Cupido)

Greater Prairie Chicken

Greater Prairie Chicken, with the scientific name of Tympanuchus cupido, can be seen around Wisconsin, United States. 

This bird is slowly but surely growing extinct and has been on the edge of extinction for several years. Consequently, they have been declared endangered and threatened by the US fish and wildlife service administration.

Their extinction mainly results from losing their habitat as the prairie has changed into farmland. Also, the loss of genetic diversity and excessive use of pesticides are the other two contributing factors. 

#18 Ornate Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata)

Ornate Box Turtle

The Ornate Box Turtle, with the scientific name Terrapene ornata, is one of two turtles that have nearly been declared endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service Administration. 

The leading cause of these turtles becoming endangered is hunting and catching and habitat loss, resulting in a visible decrease in their presence. 

However, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ( WDNR ) declared Ornate Box Turtles endangered as early as 1972. They may become extinct in only a few years unless taken care of by the department. 

#19 Peregrine Falcon (Falco Peregrinus) 

 Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon, aka Falco Peregrinus, is one of the most beautiful falcons that can fly to incredible heights at impressive speeds. Tragically, this falcon has been continuously re-added to the list of endangered animals, despite their population having recovered multiple times. For now it seems like it has made itself a permanent place on the list of the most endangered animals in Wisconsin.

It was first declared endangered in 1969, then retrieved from the list in 1970, and then added to the endangered animal act in 1973 till now. It is endangered due to the excessive use of pesticides. However, a few of these falcons can still be observed around Wisconsin, United States. 

#20 Pine Marten (Martes Marten) 

Pine Marten

Pine Marten, also known as Martes Marten, is nearly extinct. At the moment, only a few Pine Martens remain in the world. 

Their numbers started decreasing in the 1800s already. However, they started increasing in number during the mid-1900s due to reduced habitat loss, hunting, and capturing. 

However, their recovery was short-lived, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service Administration has declared the Pine Martens critically endangered

#21 Whooping Crane (Grus Americana) 

Whooping Crane

Whooping Crane, also called grus Americana, is one of the most beautiful cranes that is rarely seen these days. This crane is nearly becoming extinct due to habitat loss and hunting for their flesh and other features. 

The Whooping Crane was declared endangered by the US fish and wildlife service administration in 1967, and by now, only a few of these cranes are left. 

According to a report, only 800 whooping cranes remain, which may disappear completely if not taken care of and secured by the department. Up until very recently, Whooping Cranes could not be seen around Wisconsin, but with the help of USFWS, they can now be spotted on rare occasions. 

#22 Gray Whale

Gray Whale

The Gray whale is another of the most endangered animals in Wisconsin. 

The US fish and wildlife service administration declared the gray whale endangered in 1950 due to excessive hunting. By now, only a few gray whales are left in the world. 

It has been said that the gray whale has left Wisconsin and traveled across the sea to inhabit the waters of California instead.

#23 Bloater Fish (Coregonus hoyi)

 Bloater Fish

The Bloater is an aquatic species that is rare to see and catch. The scientific name of this fish is Coregonus hoyi. This fish is declared endangered and vulnerable by the Union of Conservation of Nature.

The leading cause of these fish being listed as threatened is their drastic population decrease caused by habitat loss due to polluted water. However, these fish can sometimes be seen around the peak cliffs underwater in Wisconsin, US. 

#24 Snake – Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus)

YouTube video

Eastern Massasauga is one of the rarest snakes found in the States. Its scientific name is Sistrurus catenatus. 

These giant snakes go from one place to another throughout their lives, never making a permanent home. This snake was listed under the endangered and threatened species act in 2016.

The leading cause of these snakes’ extinction is their loss of habitat and cleavage. However, on occasion, it can be seen around Wisconsin and isn’t allowed to be caught – according to the rules of the USFWS


To conclude, we can rightly say that almost all these rare and wondrous animals are becoming extinct due to the negligence of human beings. The majority of them are becoming extinct due to habitat loss, climate change, diseases, and pesticides – all caused by us humans, either directly or indirectly.

We can preserve these rare animals by showing your support. Spreading the word and making donations (even the smallest one will make a difference) are the most effective ways you can help as an individual!

Thank you for reading this article on the most endangered animals in Wisconsin! If you enjoyed this we have many for like it waiting for you! How about the Most Endangered Animals in the Bahamas?

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