science education resource

For K-12 Students • Educators • Homeschool Families • Naturalists

Endangered Species In Your Backyard

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Endangered Species In Your Backyard

Protecting an endangered species’ habitat is important, even if its habitat is on land owned by a private landowner like you and me. The problem is, once an endangered species is found on our land, we lose our rights to develop the land or do anything that may hurt the habitat. This has had an unexpected effect.

Landowners who found an endangered species, like a nesting bald eagle, living on their land also found that it would lower the value of their land – because no one could develop it. Ranchers could not kill endangered predators, like wolves and grizzly bears, even if they were killing their livestock. This made landowners mad and led to some sad events. Landowners sometimes killed an endangered species that they found on their property before someone from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could discover it and name their land endangered species habitat.

What is Being Done?

To help solve this problem, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has special consultants who will work with landowners and offer grants to help people overcome their problems with endangered species on their property, including lost income or land value.

A fund called the “Defenders of Wildlife’s Predator Compensation Fund” was started to pay ranchers for cattle and sheep killed by grizzlies or wolves. They also helped ranchers come up with other ways to protect their herds. They helped them get electric fences and guard dogs. They got rid of dead cattle carcasses that might attract grizzlies. This helped make the ranchers less angry at the bears and accept them as neighbors.

Then, in 2003, the National Wildlife Federation and others started a fund. They would pay ranchers to give up their leased lands in areas where the grizzlies hunted. They would move to safer grazing areas away from Yellowstone. They called this “retiring their allotments.” Conservationists have retired more than 300,000 acres of former grazing allotments in the greater Yellowstone area so far.



Testing and Assessment

Assess content comprehension about Topics about Endangered Species with the Mutiple Choice Test.

Assess student knowledge of which animals are endangered with the Endangered Animal Labeling Page.

Use the Endangered Animal Coloring Page as a model to reinforce this knowledge.



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