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A silver perch (Bairdiella chrysoura) at the Virginia Aquarium.

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The living room of a native American family in the Pacific Northwest shows images of past and present realities of this salmon-centered culture.

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These are steelhead salmon smolts (Oncorhynchus mykiss) being raised at a hatchery. They will soon be transported to release streams in the hope that some of them will survive their migration to the sea; but the heavily dammed Columbia river and its tributaries have become an obstacle course for several imperiled species. In addition the Native Americans, to whom the salmon runs are crucial, find fishing very poor. (US: Threatened)

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Unplanned product of a foster-parent program for endangered whooping cranes (Grus americana), a “whoopill” was sired out of a whooper out of a great Sandhill crane (Grus canadensis canadensis). Having failed to produce a single breeding female, biologists have abandoned their efforts to create a viable flock of whooping cranes, whose numbers in the wild have crept from 51 in 1973 to about 165 today. Many think that, rather than struggling to restore a creature so near extinction, efforts should be concentrated on species in the early stages of danger.

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This tiny snail darter (Percina tanasi) stalled the construction of Tellico dam on the Little Tennessee river. Though the dam was built, the Endangered Species Act was henceforth seen in many quarters as an enemy of progress.

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This bird earned questionable notoriety as a job buster. It is the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis), listed as threatened in 1990; it w as expected to cause thousands of job losses by disrupting logging in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. The actual cost of protection to the regional economy is not yet known.

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Fragmentation of fragile habitat has added to the woes of the once-hardy desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizi). They are collected from soon-to-be-developed lands and sent to a center where they are adopted, euthanized (if ill), or used for research.

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South of Los Angeles the implacable sprawl of single-family homes like these has reached critical mass. Or so think local environmentalists, who are challenging new developments to safeguard dwindling parcels of coastal sage scrub, habitat of the California gnatcatcher. Increasingly, developers compromise by setting aside land for imperiled species.

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Hit-and-run victims on Florida’s busy waterways, injured manatees maintain vital buoyancy only with the aid of inflatable wet suits at Orlando’s Sea World.

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A prodigy of adaptation, the endangered least tern (Sterna albifrons) survived the test of evolution by nesting on barren sandbars, protected from predators by the swift flow of surrounding rivers. These moated habitats are created by naturally occurring spring floods, which humans now spend millions to prevent.

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A snorkeler reaches out to a vulnerable (IUCN) and federally endangered manatee (Trichechus manatus) in Florida.

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A western scrub jay (Aphelocoma californica) at Wildlife Images, a rehabilitation center near Merlin, OR.

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A western scrub jay (Aphelocoma californica) at Wildlife Images, a rehabilitation center near Merlin, OR.

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A western scrub jay (Aphelocoma californica) at Wildlife Images, a rehabilitation center near Merlin, OR.

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A western scrub jay (Aphelocoma californica) at Wildlife Images, a rehabilitation center near Merlin, OR.

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A western scrub jay (Aphelocoma californica) at Wildlife Images, a rehabilitation center near Merlin, OR.

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A western scrub jay (Aphelocoma californica) at Wildlife Images, a rehabilitation center near Merlin, OR.

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A western scrub jay (Aphelocoma californica) at Wildlife Images, a rehabilitation center near Merlin, OR.

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A western scrub jay (Aphelocoma californica) at Wildlife Images, a rehabilitation center near Merlin, OR.

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A western scrub jay (Aphelocoma californica) at Wildlife Images, a rehabilitation center near Merlin, OR.

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A western scrub jay (Aphelocoma californica) at Wildlife Images, a rehabilitation center near Merlin, OR.

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Biologists relocate a tranquilized red wolf (endangered) near Manteo, North Carolina.

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Ten different species of bats await cataloging by biologists on a collecting trip to the Brazilian Pantanal, one of the richest ecosystems in South America.

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Vulnerable (IUCN) and federally endangered Nene geese (Branta sandvicensis) at Sea World of San Diego, California.

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Sandhill cranes in flight over Merced NWR in California’s central valley.

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Bald eagle chicks are fed with hand puppets through a series of holes in the Sutton Avian Research Center’s “chick lab.”

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Joel Sartore, in a “ghost costume,” in room #2 of the chick lab at the Sutton Avian Research Center near Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

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A bald eagle chick with its surrogate mother, a hand puppet resembling an adult bald eagle, at the Sutton Avian Research Center near Bartlesville, Oklahoma. The hand puppet is used extensively to get the chicks to feed during their first few weeks of life.

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An 18-day-old bald eagle chick at the Sutton Avian Research Center in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, This chick was hatched in captivity as part of the Bald Eagle Recovery Act. After the chicks are seven days old, they will never see nor hear their human hosts in order to keep the birds wild.

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A bald eagle chick is moved out of the chick lab and into a large barn nearby by workers wearing “ghost costumes” at the Sutton Avian Research Center’s incubation room near Bartlesville, OK. This chick was hatched in captivity as part of the Bald Eagle Recovery Act. After the chick is seven days old, it will never see nor hear its human host in order to keep the bird wild.

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A bald eagle chick is weighed by workers wearing “ghost costumes” at the Sutton Avian Research Center’s incubation room near Bartlesville, OK. This chick was hatched in captivity as part of the Bald Eagle Recovery Act. After the chick is seven days old, it will never see nor hear its human host in order to keep the bird wild.

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A bald eagle chick is weighed by workers wearing “ghost costumes” at the Sutton Avian Research Center’s incubation room near Bartlesville, OK. This chick was hatched in captivity as part of the Bald Eagle Recovery Act. After the chick is seven days old, it will never see nor hear its human host in order to keep the bird wild.

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A bald eagle chick is weighed by workers wearing “ghost costumes” at the Sutton Avian Research Center’s incubation room near Bartlesville, OK. This chick was hatched in captivity as part of the Bald Eagle Recovery Act. After the chick is seven days old, it will never see nor hear its human host in order to keep the bird wild.

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A bald eagle chick is weighed by workers wearing “ghost costumes” at the Sutton Avian Research Center’s incubation room near Bartlesville, OK. This chick was hatched in captivity as part of the Bald Eagle Recovery Act. After the chick is seven days old, it will never see nor hear its human host in order to keep the bird wild.

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A bald eagle chick is fed by a hand puppet at the Sutton Avian Research Center’s incubation room near Bartlesville, OK. This chick was hatched in captivity as part of the Bald Eagle Recovery Act.

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A bald eagle chick is fed by a hand puppet at the Sutton Avian Research Center’s incubation room near Bartlesville, OK. This chick was hatched in captivity as part of the Bald Eagle Recovery Act.

Photo: Julie Jensen Director of Marketing | WVC O: 866.800.7326 | D: 702.443.9249 | E: j.jensen@wvc.org

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