The End of an Era? 5 Endangered Species to know about in the New Year

Michael Ray
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Written: Los Angeles, CA, 2019. | Edited [Eugene, OR]
Featured Image: “Earth’s Changing Vistas”, NASA archives

We’re taking a break from literature to talk about endangered animals. As humans we share the planet with many types flora and fauna. The truth is that some human activities (such as deforestation, pollution and catastrophic man-made disasters) have affected many species’ and their natural habitat. From plastic filled oceans and oil spills urban expansion and loss of habitat, some species are on the verge of extinction. Whether you’re a fan of amphibians, fishes, or your fellow mammal, here are five endangered species that you should know about.

California tiger Salamander

First up on the list is the stocky, amphibian, the California Tiger Salamander. This little critter is found in the California, in and around part of Santa Barbara, and range between 7 and 8 inches in length. In addition small eyes protruding from the top of its head, some of the striking features of this terrestrial critter include its coloration of white and pale yellow spots throughout its body.

Desert pupfish

Next up is an adorable fish that inhabits parts of California and Arizona, the Desert pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius). Roughly 2 inches in size, the fish has a rounded body with a yellow tail. Its critical habitat includes Quitobaquito Springs, Pima County, portions of San Felipe Creek, Carrizo Wash, and Fish Creek Wash, Imperial County, California. The fish has been on the endangered species list since 1986.

Short-Tailed albatross

Found in along the pacific northwest, the northern parts of Canada as well as Alaska, the white-bodied bird is stands has average length of 84-91 cm; a wingspan: 213-229 cm (7-7.5 ft); and a lifespan of 12-45 yrs. This species of bird is popular among sailors and considered bad luck to kill them, as popularized in Samuel Taylor Coleridge‘s poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Whether or not you’re superstitious, one thing is for sure, we’d like to see more of this majestic bird.


Reptiles, fish, and feathered animals are not the only ones on the endangered species list, mammals are too. The Bonobo (pan paniscus) is one such mammal. With a DNA make-up of 98.7%, bonobos are as close to humans as chimpanzee– if not closer. Today, these furry great ape cousins can only be found in forests south of the Congo River in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), however poaching remains an eminent threat to this animal’s extinction.

Fin Whale

With a distinct dorsal fin, the Fin Whale’s largest threat is commercial fishing, despite its place at the top of the food chain. For over a century these whale have been hunted for oil, meat, and baleen. Somewhere between 50,000 and 90,000 of these whale still exists and are found in the Gulf of California, the Coral Triangle, as well as the Arctic.



Michael Ray is a writer, editor, and Generation Y shutterbug. A California grown environmentalist and published photographer, you can find more content published across social media platforms (including Twitter, Soundcloud, Bonoboville, Instagram, and Youtube) with intersections in ecology, environmental, Literature, and West Coast Culture.

“I read and write about plant-based living, with recommended readings, audio broadcasts and short documentaries. In my non-writing life, I like painting, fashion, yoga, and set design. I’m a graduate of Humboldt State University with a Bachelors in English Literature. I love Poesy, spoken word and this love led me to becoming the Poetry Division Editor for The Toyon Literary Journal, as well as a costumer for the world-famous Humboldt Circus.”



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