Species at Risk


There are two broad categories for creatures whose rarity puts them in danger.

Endangered - Immediate risk of either local or complete extinction.

Threatened - Rare enough that they could become endangered soon.

In each state a third category may used for those species who are generally considered to be in trouble. In Kansas it is called Species in need of Conservation (SINC).  In other states, they may be referred to as Special Concern species.  There are 78 species on the Kansas SINC list as of August 2009.  These break down to:  12 mussels, 1 snail, 2 dragonflys, 1 crayfish, 1 mole cricket, 31 fishes, 2 amphibians, 1 turtle, 6 snakes, 15 birds and 6 mammals.

For a pdf version of the SINC list, click here Kansas SINC list.
(On a Windows system, download the file by right-clicking on the link and choosing "Save Target As" to save it to your hard drive, then open it from there.   You will need Acrobat Reader to view this file.  If you don't have that software already, you can get it for free from Adobe.)

Species are ranked in Kansas by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism, in the United States by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and worldwide by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the Nature Conservancy.  The rankings at the state and national levels are required by law, while the world rankings are done by concerned professional organizations and do not have a legal mandate.  At all levels, the process for ranking the species seeks to answer these questions:

  1. Do we know enough about the species to assess it properly?
  2. What is the minimum viable population of the species?
  3. What is the critical habitat necessary for survival of the species?
  4. What are the immediate and long-term threats to the species and its habitat?

The list of threatened and endangered species in Kansas is below, last revised in August 2009.  For more information on each species, use the links in the list to go to the species pages in the Kansas Wildlife Refuge, the section of the GPNC website that is an online adaptation of our "Pocket Guide to Kansas Threatened and Endangered Species".

For a pdf version of the Kansas T&E list, click here Kansas T&E list.
(On a Windows system, download the file by right clicking on the link and choose "Save Target As" to save it to your hard drive, then open it from there.   You will need Acrobat Reader to view this file.  If you don't have that software already, you can get it for free from Adobe.)



Scientific Name

State Status

U.S Status

Black-footed Ferret Mustela nigripes Endangered Endangered
Eastern Spotted Skunk Spilogale putorius Threatened Not listed

Gray Myotis

Myotis grisescens




Black-capped Vireo Vireo atricapilla Endangered Endangered
Eskimo Curlew Numenius borealis Endangered Endangered
Least Tern Sterna antillarum Endangered Endangered
Piping Plover Charadrius melodus Threatened Endangered
Snowy Plover Charadrius alexandrinus Threatened Not listed
Whooping Crane Grus americana Endangered Endangered


Broadhead Skink Eumeces laticeps Threatened Not listed
Checkered Garter Snake Thamnophis marcianus Threatened Not listed
Common Map Turtle Graptemys geographica Threatened Not listed
Texas Blind Snake Leptotyphlops dulcis Threatened Not listed
Redbelly Snake Storeria occipitomaculata Threatened Not listed
Longnose Snake Rhinocheilus lecontei Threatened Not listed
Smooth Earth Snake Virginia valeriae Threatened Not listed


Cave Salamander Eurycea lucifuga Endangered Not listed
Eastern Newt Notophthalmus viridescens Threatened Not listed
Longtail Salamander Eurycea longicauda Threatened Not listed
Eastern Narrowmouth Toad Gastrophryne carolinensis Threatened Not listed
Many-ribbed Salamander Eurycea multiplicata Endangered Not listed
Green Frog Rana clamitans Threatened Not listed
Grotto Salamander Typhlotriton spelaeus Endangered Not listed
Spring Peeper Pseudacris crucifer Threatened Not listed
Strecker's Chorus Frog Pseudoacris streckeri Threatened Not listed
Green Toad Bufo debilis Threatened Not listed


Arkansas Darter Etheostoma cragini Threatened Not listed
Arkansas River Shiner Notropis girardi Endangered Threatened
Arkansas River Speckled Chub Macrhybopsis tetranema Endangered Not listed
Blackside Darter Percina maculata Threatened Not listed
Chestnut Lamprey Ichthyomyzon castaneus Threatened Not listed
Flathead Chub Platygobio gracilis Threatened Not listed
Hornyhead Chub Nocomis biguttatus Threatened Not listed

Neosho Madtom

Noturus placidus Threatened Threatened
Pallid Sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus Endangered Endangered
Plains Minnow Hybognathus placitus Threatened Not listed
Redspot Chub Nocomis asper Threatened Not listed
Shoal Chub Macrhybopsis hyostoma Threatened Not listed
Sicklefin Chub Macrhybopsis meeki Endangered Not listed
Silver Chub Macrhybopsis storeriana Endangered Not listed
Silverband Shiner Notropis shumardi Threatened Not listed
Sturgeon Chub Macrhybopsis gelida Threatened Not listed
Topeka Shiner Notropis topeka Threatened Endangered
Western Silvery Minnow Hybognathus argyritis Threatened Not listed


American Burying Beetle Nicrophorus americanus Endangered Endangered
Butterfly Mussel Ellipsaria lineolata Threatened Not listed
Delta Hydrobe Probythinella emarginata Threatened Not listed
Elktoe Mussel Alasmidonta marginata Endangered Not listed
Ellipse Mussel Venustaconcha ellipsiformis Endangered Not listed
Flat Floater Mussel Anodonta suborbiculata Endangered Not listed
Flutedshell Mussel Lasmigona costata Threatened Not listed
Mucket Mussel Actinonais ligamentina Endangered Not listed
Neosho Mucket Mussel Lampsilis rafinesqueana Endangered Not listed
Ouachita Kidneyshell Mussel Ptychobranchus occidentalis Threatened Not listed
Rabbitsfoot Mussel Quadrula cylindrica Endangered Not listed
Rock Pocketbook Mussel Arcidens confragosus Threatened Not listed
Scott Optioservus
Riffle Beetle
Optioservus phaeus Endangered Not listed
Sharp Hornsnail Pleurocera acuta Threatened Not listed
Slender Walker Snail Pomatiopsis lapidaria Endangered Not listed
Western Fanshell Mussel Cyprogenia aberti Endangered Not listed


Mead's Milkweed Asclepias meadii Not listed Threatened
Running Buffalo Clover Trifolium stoloniferum Not listed Endangered
Western Prairie Fringed Orchid Platanthera praeclara Not listed Threatened


A careful study of this table might bring to mind some questions.

How can the plants be threatened or endangered nationally and not in Kansas?
That is because Kansas law does not allow the listing of plants.  Federal law is the only protector of plant species in Kansas.

Aren't there a lot of mussels on the list?
Yes!  Adding in the 12 mussel species on the SINC list, it shows that over half of Kansas' 45 known species of freshwater mussels are in trouble.   Nationwide, 71% of freshwater mussel species are either in serious decline or extinct.  These creatures are very sensitive to water quality and their plight should be considered a warning that our streams and rivers have grave problems. 

Why are so many species on the T & E list in Kansas, but not nationally?
This is usually because Kansas is on the edge of the range of the species. 

If they are common elsewhere, why should we be concerned about those few in our state?
It is important to protect all populations of a species.  Those at the fringe of their range are especially important because they may contain the genetic knowledge to help the species adapt if conditions change in the core of the species' range.  For example, if the predictions of global warming come to pass, those individuals within a species who can tolerate a hotter or drier climate will be able to carry on while those adapted to cooler and damper conditions will die out.  If the species did not have any members with the ability to survive warmer conditions, the whole species would die out.

For more information:

Click here to visit the Kansas Wildlife Refuge, an online adaptation of our "Pocket Guide to Kansas Threatened and Endangered Species".
Click here to download the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism "On Tracks" newsletter devoted to Threatened & Endangered Species, complete with color photos of each species on the Kansas list!  (2.1 meg pdf file)  You will need Acrobat Reader to view this file.  If you don't have the software to use this file already, you can get it for free from Adobe.  (On a Windows system, download the file by right clicking on the link and choose "Save Target As" to save it to your hard drive, then open it from there.)
Click here to go the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species web site.
Click here to go the Natureserve online species database for North America.
Click here to visit the worldwide database for endangered species maintained by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

coolness.gif (10701 bytes)  For a site devoted to the Black Footed Ferret click here.

Last revised 03/11/14.

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Great Plains Nature Center
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