A federally endangered Salt Creek tiger beetle (Cicindela nevadica lincolniana) in a lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. With a count of fewer than 250 adults in the summer of 2007, this subspecies of tiger beetle could be the rarest insect in North America. Found only in the interior saline wetlands of Lancaster County, Nebraska, the beetle has been in decline for years due to habitat loss from development.
Thousands of sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) roost on the Platte River during their annual migratory stopover at the Rowe Audubon Sanctuary near Gibbon, NE. With water in the river fully appropriated for urban areas and agriculture, many wonder how long it will be until the river runs dry. Some 600,000 to 800,000 cranes use just a few miles of the river in central Nebraska–areas that have been been mechanically cleared of the woody vegetation that the birds can’t tolerate.