There are over 50 species of animals at Point Reyes that are listed by the state or federal government as threatened, rare, or endangered. These include reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish, invertebrates, and mammals. For a species to be listed as endangered, it has to be in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Threatened means a species is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
In 1995, the National Academy of Sciences reported that:
In recent years, it has become apparent that human activities are causing the loss of biological diversity at an increasing rate: the current rate of extinctions appears to be among the highest in the fossil record. Although non-human organisms can cause extinctions of other species to a small degree, no other organisms produce such large effects over such wide areas as humans do and have done—at least locally—for thousands of years. Habitat alteration and degradation are probably the most severe effects humans have on other species today.
--Science and the Endangered Species Act
While we humans have the ability to dramatically impact and even wipe out other species and their habitat, we also have the ability to preserve and protect these same species and their habitat. As habitat is lost to human development, protected areas like Point Reyes National Seashore are increasingly important to the protection and recovery of species that are on the verge of disappearing from our world.
View Threatened & Endangered Animal Species of Point Reyes (32 KB PDF, Adobe® Acrobat Reader® required).