Deer in Spring Landscape

Endangered Species - Plants & Animals

NEW Puritan Tiger Beetle Mitigation Fund

Photo of Puritan Tiger Beetle courtesy of Tom SchultzThe Puritan tiger beetle is listed by both the State and federal government as a threatened and endangered species.  Permits are required to alter habitat supporting this species.  If incidental take occurs, mitigation for that loss is required in order to obtain a permit.  The DNR has established the Puritan Tiger Beetle Habitat Conservation Program to receive mitigation funds for the incidental take of this species.

The Maryland Puritan Tiger Beetle
Habitat Conservation Program


King’s Hairstreak
(Satyrium kingi)
Photograph by Harold L. Wierenga

The Wildlife and Heritage Service Natural Heritage Program tracks the status of over 1,100 native plants and animals that are among the rarest in Maryland and most in need of conservation efforts as elements of our State's natural diversity. Of these species, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources officially recognizes 607 species and subspecies as endangered, threatened, in need of conservation, or endangered extirpated. Only 37, or 3% of the total tracked species, are listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as nationally endangered or threatened.

The primary State law that allows and governs the listing of endangered species is the Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act (Annotated Code of Maryland 10-2A-01). This Act is supported by regulations (Code of Maryland Regulations 08.03.08) which contain the official State Threatened and Endangered Species list. 

Secondarily, DNR's Fisheries Service maintains an official list of game and commercial fish species that are designated as threatened or endangered in Maryland (Code of Maryland Regulations 08.02.12).

Complete listings of the Rare, Threatened & Endangered Plants of Maryland and the Rare, Threatened, & Endangered Animals of Maryland include all species tracked by the Wildlife and Heritage Service Natural Heritage Program and indicate which species are federally listed and which are officially State listed. Compiled by Natural Heritage Program staff, these lists are the result of over 30 years of data gathering from numerous sources, such as herbaria and museums, private collections, scientific literature, unpublished documents, reports from biologists and amateur naturalists, and from field work conducted by regional ecologists.

Since the time of European colonization in the 1600's, more than 500 species and subspecies of native animals and plants have become extinct in North America. Some of these had been abundant in the Chesapeake Bay region. Passenger pigeons blackened the sky during migration, Carolina parakeets roosted in coastal swamp forests, and heath hens boomed on rolling grassland hilltops.

Although Maryland harbors a rich variety of plant and animal life, the populations of many species have declined since colonization and many have been extirpated, including small-whorled pogonia, chaffseed, gray wolf, and American bison.

Summary of
Federal Listed Species

Category

Plants

Animals

Endangered

5

21

Threatened 

6

Total 

27

 

Summary of
State Listed Species*

Category 

Plants 

Animals

Endangered

271 

91

Threatened 

74

19

In Need of Conservation 

n/a 

29

Endangered Extirpated 

100

28

Total 

445

167

* Summary of State Listed Species only includes species listed in COMAR 08.03.08.

Reporting Rare Species

If you know of the location of a rare animal or rare plant in Maryland, we would like to know about it. Our assessment of the health of Maryland's populations of vanishing species and natural communities depends on knowing how many places they still exist. Please take a moment to fill out the Rare Species Reporting Form, mark the location on a copy of an ADC County map, U.S.G.S. topographic quadrangle map, or similar map, and mail it in to the address provided on the form.

For more information, please contact:

Peter Stango
Natural Heritage Information Manager
MD DNR - Wildlife and Heritage Service
Tawes State Office Building, E-1
580 Taylor Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21401
410-260-8577