Missing in Minnesota: More species are up for the endangered list

Endangered snake: One of Minnesota's new candidates for the endangered species list is the Eastern massasaugas rattlesnake.
Endangered snake: One of Minnesota's new candidates for the endangered species list is the Eastern massasaugas rattlesnake.

Several species of animals and one plant in Minnesota are on the candidate list for being added to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s list of threatened and endangered species.
Making the list from Minnesota are the Eastern massasauga rattlesnake, Dakota skipper butterfly, sheepnose and spectaclecase mussels and slender moonwart plant.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resourses announced the candidates this month along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Candidates make the list when research shows that their numbers have dropped to a range where special management steps need to be taken to try to keep them from dipping to dangerously low levels.

More information about the list is available by visiting the Minnesota DNR website (www.dnr.state.mn.us).

As much as I like wildlife and the outdoors, I wasn’t too familiar with any of these species. Here's some vital information about the two animals you've maybe had a chance to come into contact with:

The Eastern massasaugas average about two feet long when fully grown and are grary or light brown with dark blotches on their back and small blotches on their side. They can be found in wet prairies, marshes and low areas along rivers and lake. They hibernate alone in the winter time. Massasaugas’ diets consist of small rodents along with frogs and other small snakes.

Also endangered: Up for endangered consideration is this butterfly, the Dakota skipper.
Also endangered: Up for endangered consideration is this butterfly, the Dakota skipper.

The Dakota skipper is a small butterfly with a one-inch wingspan. Like other skippers, it has a thick body and a faster and more powerful flight than most butterflies. The upper side of the male's wings range from tawny-orange to brown with a prominent mark on the forewing; the lower surface is dusty yellow-orange. The upper side of the female's wing is darker brown with tawny-orange spots and a few white spots on the margin of the forewing; the lower side is gray-brown with a faint white spot band across the middle of the wing. Dakota skippers occurs in two types of habitat. The first is relatively flat and moist native prairie in which three species of wildflowers are usually present and in flower when Dakota skippers are in their adult stage - wood lily, harebell and smooth camas. The second habitat type is upland prairie that is often on ridges and hillsides. If they attain maximum longevity of about three weeks and if adequate sources of nectar are available, females may lay up to about 250 eggs. Nectar provides Dakota skipper with both water and food and is crucial for the survival of both sexes during the flight period. Dakota skippers appear to prefer plants, such as purple coneflowers, whose nectar cannot be obtained by insect species that do not have a relatively long, slender feeding tube.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think that it is horrible that some animals are going extinct!

posted on Sun, 01/21/2007 - 3:36pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:





posted on Thu, 02/22/2007 - 9:48am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Mon, 03/26/2007 - 5:25pm
Anony's picture
Anony says:

good information

posted on Mon, 04/30/2007 - 10:15am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Good information

posted on Mon, 04/30/2007 - 10:16am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 9:47am
jimh's picture
jimh says:

You can go to the US Fish and Wildlife Service web site (or just Google "extinct animals in Minnesota" to get it.
This article is about animals in danger of going extinct if nothing is done to prevent it, not animals that are already extinct.

posted on Fri, 05/30/2008 - 3:51pm
nayomi's picture
nayomi says:

We NEED to save the animals all around the world . PLEASE HEEEEELP!!!!!!!!!

posted on Fri, 05/30/2008 - 3:57pm
Bunny lover's picture
Bunny lover says:

You are so right. We do need to save the poor animals. Animals ROCK. I have a pet rabbit that I would never hurt him. Last year we had 15 fessents, 16 squrals, and 5 bunnies. More than half are gone and we don't see them any more, it's sad. :-( Ilove animals.

posted on Sat, 05/31/2008 - 1:16pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

We really need to help the animals because if we don't do anything they will go extinct!!!!!

posted on Sat, 05/31/2008 - 1:12pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think that the enviornment can be a limiting factor in our economy.

posted on Sat, 05/31/2008 - 3:18pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

wow so many animals are already endangered I just can't think of it

posted on Mon, 03/30/2009 - 4:43pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

we need to help the environment more....

posted on Tue, 05/24/2011 - 12:44pm
Denise Louis's picture
Denise Louis says:

I just read yesterday about the Dakota Skipper butterfly, looked online this morning to see what they look like. A couple hours later when I sat down on the back step of our dental office, one landed on my leg and rested there for quite awhile allowing me to appreciate him (he was probably drawn to my lavender uniform pants).

posted on Mon, 08/03/2015 - 7:36pm

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