Endemic animals are special because they are found in only one location on the planet, and nowhere else. Great Basin National Park is home to several endemic plant and animal species. The "sky island" geography of the Great Basin region lends itself to large numbers of highly specialized species.
Mountain ranges are separated from other mountains by "seas" of desert, across which plant and animal migration is difficult due to the dramatic differences in environment between the high elevations and the basins below. Each mountain range behaves much like an island, where species are trapped. They adapt and change within the very specific parameters of that one location.
Below is a list of animal species endemic to the Snake Range (home to Great Basin National Park) and to the Great Basin Region. This is not an exhaustive list of species endemic to the Great Basin Region, but includes only the species found in or near the park.
White Pine amphipod (Stygobromus albapinus)
Great Basin Cave Millipede (Idagona lehmanesis)
Model Cave Harvestman (Cyptobunus ungulatus ungulatus)
Cave Basin Cave Pseudoscorpion (Microcreagris grandis)
Lehman Caves Millipede (undescribed)
Snake Creek Cave springtail (Arrhophilates sp.)
Model Cave springtail (Arrhophilates sp.)
Species Endemic to the Great Basin Region
Toquerville Springsnail (Pyrgulopsis kolobensis)
Various other springtails of the genus Pyrgulopisis are also endemic.
Pygmy Rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis)
Did You Know?
One of the major ecological threats to the sagebrush-dominated Great Basin ecosystem is the introduction and spread of dozens of species of non-native plants. The most important of these, cheatgrass (or downy brome) covers the largest area: 25 million acres, one-third of the area of the Great Basin.