The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Last Chance: 10 U.S. Species Already Imperiled by Climate Change

New Report Highlights Urgent Need to Address Biodiversity Loss, Global Warming


Last month world leaders met in Glasgow for a global climate conference, and to announce their public commitments to reversing climate change. But for some species, it may already be too late, according to a report released today by the Endangered Species Coalition. Last Chance: 10 U.S. Species Already Imperiled by Climate Change highlights the plight of ten dwindling animal and plant species that are being impacted--directly or indirectly--by global climate change.

A small deer in Florida that swims in the ocean, a high-alpine dwelling frog, and a bird so rare that its home has shrunk to just one slope on a single volcano--these are three of the species already suffering the ill-effects of global warming, including drought, deforestation and more frequent and intense storms.

"Scientists have long known about the impact of greenhouse gases and carbon pollution on the planet," said Leda Huta, Executive Director of the Endangered Species Coalition. "Plants and wildlife are going extinct at an unprecedented rate, and it's way past time for our elected leaders to take bold action to protect our planet and all its inhabitants."

In 2021, global leaders have finally begun to pay more attention to the twin crises of climate and biodiversity loss. This past summer, the United Nations (U.N.) scientific agencies on climate change and biodiversity jointly released a report highlighting the interconnection between the two issues, warning that biodiversity loss will exacerbate climate change, and vice versa. The scientists-authors are calling upon world leaders to address both issues urgently and concurrently. Several months later, on October 13, the U.N. Biodiversity Conference adopted the Kunming Declaration, which acknowledges that biodiversity loss and climate change are unprecedented crises that "pose an existential threat to our society, our culture, our prosperity and our planet."

Despite President Biden's pledge to address climate change and its impact, last week the Administration announced that it is now considering weakening protections for some species, including at least one endangered species in the report--Florida's Key deer.

10 Species Already Imperiled by Climate Change:

  • Florida Key deer
  • Ka palupalu o Kanaloa
  • Maui parrotbill
  • Mexican long-nosed bat
  • Western ridged mussel
  • Whitebark pine
  • Diamondback terrapin
  • Elkhorn coral
  • Monarch butterfly
  • Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog
  • **Honorable mention: Goodings onion

Endangered Species Coalition's member groups nominated species for the report. A committee of distinguished scientists reviewed the nominations and chose the finalists. The full report, along with photos can be viewed and downloaded here: The Endangered Species Coalition produces a Top 10 report annually, focusing on a different theme each year. Previous years' reports are also available on the Coalition's website.


The Endangered Species Coalition's mission is to stop the human-caused extinction of our nation's at-risk species, to protect and restore their habitats, and to guide these fragile populations along the road to recovery.