The endangered animals of deciduous forest biomes

Written by skip davis
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The endangered animals of deciduous forest biomes
Maple trees are deciduous trees with a colourful fall foliage. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Deciduous trees are known for their colourful fall foliage and serve as a habitat for a variety of wildlife species. However, some of these species are on the verge of extinction due to loss of habitat, road construction, over-hunting and degradation of water. The U.S. government has passed legislation to protect these animals, including the Endangered Species Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

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Blue-Spotted Salamander

The blue-spotted salamander, or Ambystoma laterale, is found in the maple and birch forests throughout the Northeast United States. These type of salamanders are often found in rotting wood. The adults of this amphibious species are approximately five inches in length. Blue-spotted salamanders received their endangered status from the loss of habitat and degradation of water supply. This salamander's appearance consists of black skin with blue spots all over its body.

Puerto Rican Sharp-Shinned Hawk

According to the U.S. Forest Service, the Puerto Rican sharp-shinned hawk's, or Accipiter striatus, habitat is deciduous forests with trees that include elm, ash, birch and maple. This hawk is endangered in Missouri and Illinois and threatened in Tennessee. When fully mature, these birds have a length of 13 inches. Puerto Rican sharp-shinned hawks spend their summers in the western states and migrate to the southeast United States during the winter.

Eastern Hog-Nosed Snake

The eastern hog-nosed snake, or Heterodon platirhinos, is found in deciduous forests and riparian areas throughout the eastern United States. The snake is prominently found throughout the southeast United States, but endangered in some northern states, including New Hampshire. These snakes are identified by their flat noses, which resemble a pig's snout. Eastern hog-nosed snakes have thick bodies and grow to lengths of four feet when they mature. These snakes are not venomous.

Long-Eared Owl

Found primarily in the northeast United States, long-eared owls, or Asio otus, are found in thick deciduous and coniferous forests. These owls are endangered in several New England states, including Connecticut, due to rapid deforestation for farm land. During the winter, long-eared owls will migrate to southern states, including Texas and Florida. Mature long-eared owls grow to 16 inches in length and have a 42-inch wingspan. As of February 2011, these owls are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Wood Turtle

The wood turtle is found throughout North America and, according to the University of Maine, is threatened or endangered in most of its native states. These turtles grow up to eight inches when they mature. Wood turtles' habitats include forests -- deciduous and coniferous, wetlands and riparian areas. The primary cause of the decline in the wood turtle population is pet collecting, road development and habitat destruction.

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