This collection focuses on animals found in North, Central and South America as well as in the oceans that surround the Americas. It focuses more heavily on bringing attention to animals that are seriously threatened by the exponential amount of plastic entering ocean habitats, as well as fishing nets, boat collisions, the expanding loss of wild animal habitats from prairies to forests, and pollution.
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Can swim vast distances between feeding and breeding areas.
Capable of crossing the Pacific Ocean from the US to Southeast Asia.
Largest of all turtles, can grow to 10ft (3m) in length and weighs over 2000lb (900kg), the size of a small car.
Many die after eating plastic bags, mistaking them for jellyfish.
Found from the Arctic Circle to New Zealand.
Attwater’s Prairie Chicken
(Tympanuchus cupido attwateri)
During the breeding season, males put on spectacular displays, inflating their orange throat sacs and making loud booming calls.
Since 1900, population has dropped from about 1 million to a few hundred.
Threatened by loss of prairie habitat.
Now found only in two nature reserves in Texas.
Brought to the brink of extinction in the wild due to hunting and poisoning.
Population slowly growing after being reintroduced to former habitats.
North America’s largest bird, with a wingspan up to 10ft (3m).
Soars up to 15,000ft (4500m) – ten times higher than the Empire State Building.
Native to California and Arizona.
Powerful symbol of liberty, the majestic Bald Eagle has been the national bird of the United States since 1782.
Large bird of prey unique to North America; wingspan up to 90 inches (230cm), wider than that of any Harlem Globetrotter.
Almost driven to extinction by pesticide use, now fully recovered and thriving.
There is a $50,000 reward for anyone who can lead scientists to a living Ivory-billed Woodpecker!
Uses its powerful bill to find grubs and small creatures in dead trees.
Threatened by clearing of forest habitat in southeastern USA.
Last confirmed sightings in the 1930s.
Rapidly heading towards extinction. Each year many die after being accidentally caught in fishing nets.
World’s smallest porpoise – found only in Mexico’s Gulf of California.
At about four feet (140cm) in length, could fit into the average family bath tub.
World’s most endangered cetacean, with perhaps less than 100 surviving.
Feeds mainly on the seeds of the endangered mamane tree, which are deadly to most animals.
Found only on the slopes of Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii.
Lives at altitudes up to 9500ft (2900m), more than three times higher than the world’s tallest building.
Threatened by clearing of native forest.
Hunting in prairie dog burrows at night, relies on sharp hearing and powerful sense of smell to locate prey.
Stealthy nocturnal predator found on the Great Plains of North America.
Long, slender body and short powerful legs ideal for hunting in burrows.
Endangered by habitat loss and decline in prairie dog numbers.
An all-round animal athlete with enormous strength. Adept at climbing, crawling and swimming.
Stealthy, powerful predator found from US Southwest to Argentina
Largest cat in the Americas, capable of killing prey as big as anacondas
Usually spotted. Black specimens harder to find in the wild
Numbers declining due to habitat loss and illegal hunting.
Devil’s Hole Pupfish
Found only in one geothermal pool in the Nevada desert. Possibly the world’s most endangered fish.
Less than one inch (25mm) long (shorter than a paperclip).
Breeds on a small rock ledge one foot (30cm) below the water surface.
Eats algae growing in the warm water.
(Trichechus manatus latirostris)
With lungs about two thirds the length of its body, it can stay underwater for up to 20 minutes.
Marine mammal that feeds on sea grass in warm shallow waters around Florida
As big as a cow, weighing around 1200lb (500kg)
Threatened by pollution, collisions with boats and entanglement in fishing nets.
Golden Lion Tamarin
Golden Lion Tamarins are critical to the health of their forest habitat, helping spread the seeds of many trees.
Small monkey found in coastal forests of south-eastern Brazil.
Only about 1000 left in the wild, restricted to small, isolated areas.
Highly vulnerable to predators, due to reduction in forest cover.
Phantasmal Poison Frog
After breeding, the male takes care of the tadpoles, carrying them from place to place on his back.
Less than one inch (25 mm) long, the size of your little finger.
Brightly colored skin warns predators of its highly toxic compounds.
Deforestation rapidly destroying its threatened mountain forest habitat in Ecuador.
Rarely comes to the ground, and even drinks water that collects in plants growing among trees branches.
Turkey-sized bird found in mountain forests of Mexico and Guatemala.
Bony horn is covered with red skin, and grows longer as the bird matures.
Habitat rapidly disappearing as forest is cleared for agriculture.
Utah Prairie Dog
Provides habitat and food for other animals, making it a very important ‘essential species’.
Lives in large colonies with complex burrow systems for shelter and safety.
Lookouts stand guard around the colony, barking out warnings if predators approach.
Highly social mammal, native to Utah.
Although similar in looks to an alligator, it has a narrower snout, paler skin and prefers saltwater habitats from Florida to northern South America.
Grows to almost 20ft (6m) in length, longer than a minivan.
Can weigh more than 1000lb (450kg), heavier than five average adults.
Less aggressive than other crocs, attacks on humans very rare.
California Tiger Salamander
Many killed crossing roads while migrating from their burrows to winter breeding ponds.
Young hatch and grow in ponds, transforming from tadpoles into adults.
Wards off predators with bright yellow spots which indicate toxicity.
Native to California, USA.
South American Tapir
Superb swimmers and divers, they can walk underwater along river and lake beds, much like a hippopotamus.
Large mammal found near rivers and lakes in the Amazon basin.
Long flexible nose grabs food such as leaves, fruit and grass.
Can hold its breath underwater for up to three minutes to escape predators.
Despite its enormous size (as long as a city bus) it poses no danger to humans and even allows divers and snorkelers to swim alongside it.
World’s largest fish, grows to more than 40ft (12m) in length.
Threatened by humans fishing for meat, oil and skins.
Found in oceans in tropical climates.