Species of Greatest Conservation Need

Species of Greatest Conservation Need

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EASTERN MEADOWLARK

The Eastern meadowlark (Sturnella magna) is a declining species in BCR 14. It prefers extensive open grassland with elevated perches. It is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in one or more states in BCR 14.

EASTERN RIBBON SNAKE

The Eastern ribbon snake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus) is a very slender snake measuring 16 to 35 inches. It has three yellow or greenish stripes running down the surface on scale rows three and four. The tail (starting at the cloaca and ending at the tip) is long and thin and measures 1/3 the length of the body. It is often confused with the common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis). They are usually found near aquatic habitats, have relatively small home ranges, and rarely move more than 16 feet from water.

EASTERN SMALL-FOOTED BAT

The Eastern small-footed bat (Myotis leibii) is an uncommon species in BCR 14. It winters in caves and mines and uses cliffs, rocks and buildings in summer. It is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in one or more states in BCR 14.

If your project is in BCR 14, you are in a state where these bats occur. Contact your state wildlife agency before implementing a project. Individual state regulations may apply.

EASTERN TOWHEE

The Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) is a large sparrow that forages in the leaf litter in disturbed forests and dry forest edges. Towhee populations are declining as forests mature and brushy edges revert to forest. It is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in one or more states in BCR 14.

FIELD SPARROW

The field sparrow (Spizella pusilla) is a common to uncommon breeder in BCR 14. It prefers open grassy areas with low shrubs or trees. These sparrows are at the northern limits of their breeding range in BCR 14 and are declining with forest succession and development. It is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in one or more states in BCR 14.

FIVE-LINED SKINK

As its name implies, the five-lined skink (Eumeces fasciatus) has five cream-colored lines extending the length of its greenish black body. Juveniles have bright blue tail tips that eventually fade to bronze with age. Five-lined skinks are broadly distributed and common in parts of their range, but rare or declining in many states. Habitat loss or degradation is a major cause of population declines, along with predation and collection for the pet trade. It is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in three states in BCR 14.

FOWLER'S TOAD

The Fowler’s toad (Anaxyrus fowleri) is a small 2- to 3-inch toad that typically has three or more warts in each of the largest, dark spots with the dorsal area mostly brown or gray. The belly and chest are usually unspotted, unlike the commonly confused American toad (Anaxyrus americanus). Other key identifying characteristics include a parotoid gland that touches the postorbital ridge and, unlike the American toad, a lack of a large tibial wart. The two toad species will hybridize where they overlap and may produce intermediate characteristics.

HOARY BAT

The hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus) is an uncommon migratory bat that leaves the region in the winter for the most part. In summer it roosts in tree crowns of a number of pole to small sawtimber-sized forests but seems to prefer conifers. It is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in one or more states in BCR 14.

INDIANA BAT

The Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis), a federally-listed endangered species, occurs in BCR 14 but only in the Champlain Valley in Vermont. It hibernates in caves or mines and have been severely impacted by the white-nose syndrome (WNS). This bat is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in one or more states in BCR 14. It uses a variety of forest types for summer roosting and maternity areas but its preference seems to be riparian forest. It hibernates in limestone caves and mines.