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  • Writer's pictureWill Hedrick

A List of Endangered & Protected Animals in North Carolina

What does it mean to be endangered? In today's article, we are going to be talking about three specific definitions:


  • "An endangered species is a species that is very likely to become extinct in the near future, either worldwide or in a particular political jurisdiction."(Wikipedia)


  • "Threatened species are any species which are vulnerable to endangerment in the near future." (Wikipedia)

Special Concern

  • "A species of special concern is any species of fish or wildlife that does not meet the criteria of an endangered or threatened species but is particularly vulnerable, and could easily become, an endangered, threatened, or extirpated species." (Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife)

There is also another level of categorization between State (North Carolina) and Federal definitions for each endangered, threatened, and special concern category.

We will note these throughout the list with:

  • FE: Federally Listed as Endangered

  • FT: Federally Listed as Threatened

Wildlife numbers, in general, can be tracked using the IUCN Red List. The IUCN keeps track of wild animal numbers and places them on a sliding scale from Least Concern (LC) to Extinct (EX). It is important to mention the difference between Extinct in the Wild and Extinct in general. Extinction is forever, whereas, with Extinction in the Wild, there are still members who can only survive in captivity, cultivation, or as a naturalized population.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission produced the following list. You can find the full report here.

Learn more about federally listed species in North Carolina by visiting:

Learn more about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Endangered Species Program by visiting:


Amphibians (4)

Gopher frog (Rana [=Lithobates] capito)

Hickory Nut Gorge green salamander (Aneides caryaenis)

Ornate chorus frog (Pseudacris ornata)

River frog (Rana [=Lithobates] heckscheri)

Birds (8)

American peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus anatum)

Peregrine Falcon

Bewick’s wren (Thryomanes bewickii)

Common tern (Sterna hirundo)

Henslow’s sparrow (Centronyx henslowii)

Piping plover (Charadrius melodus circumcinctus) FE

Red-cockaded woodpecker (Dryobates borealis) FE

Roseate tern (Sterna dougallii dougallii) FE

Wayne’s black-throated green warbler (Setophaga virens waynei)

Crustacea (2)

Bennett’s Mill cave water slater (Caecidotea carolinensis)

Waccamaw crayfish (Procambarus braswelli)

Fish (12)

Atlantic Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) - when found in inland fishing waters FE

Blotchside logperch (Percina burtoni)

Bridle shiner (Notropis bifrenatus)

Cape Fear shiner (Notropis mekistocholas) FE

Orangefin madtom (Noturus gilberti)

Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula)

Roanoke logperch (Percina rex) FE

Robust redhorse (Moxostoma robustum)

Rustyside sucker (Thoburnia hamiltoni)

Sharpnose darter (Percina oxyrhynchus)

Shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum)

- when found in inland fishing waters as defined

in G.S. 113-129(9)a and (9)b FE

Stonecat (Noturus flavus)

Mammals (6)

Carolina northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus coloratus) FE

Eastern cougar (Puma concolor) FE

Eastern Cougar

Gray bat (Myotis grisescens) FE

Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) FE

Manatee (Trichechus manatus) - when found in inland fishing waters FE

Virginia big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus) FE

Mollusks (24)

Appalachian elktoe (Alasmidonta raveneliana) FE

Barrel floater (Utterbackiana couperiana)

Brook floater (Alasmidonta varicosa)

Carolina creekshell (Villosa vaughaniana)

Carolina heelsplitter (Lasmigona decorata) FE

Dwarf wedgemussel (Alasmidonta heterodon) FE

Fragile glyph (Glyphyalinia clingmani)

Green floater (Lasmigona subviridis)

Greenfield rams-horn (Helisoma eucosmium)

James spinymussel (Parvaspina collina) FE

Knotty elimia (Elimia christyi)

Littlewing pearlymussel (Pegias fabula) FE

Longsolid (Fusconaia subrotunda)

Magnificent rams-horn (Planorbella magnifica)

Purple wartyback (Cyclonaias tuberculata)

Savannah lilliput (Toxolasma pullus)

Slippershell mussel (Alasmidonta viridis)

Tan riffleshell (Epioblasma florentina walkeri) FE

Tar River spinymussel (Parvaspina steinstansana) FE

Tennessee clubshell (Pleurobema oviforme)

Tennessee heelsplitter (Lasmigona holstonia)

Tennessee pigtoe (Pleuronaia barnesiana)

Yellow lampmussel (Lampsilis cariosa)

Reptiles (6)

Hawksbill Sea Turtle

Atlantic hawksbill seaturtle (Eretmochelys imbricata imbricata) FE

Eastern coral snake (Micrurus fulvius fulvius)

Eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus)

Kemp’s ridley seaturtle (Lepidochelys kempii) FE

Leatherback seaturtle (Dermochelys coriacea) FE

Mimic glass lizard (Ophisaurus mimicus)


Amphibians (7)

Eastern tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum)

Eastern Tiger Salamander

Green salamander (Aneides aeneus)

Junaluska salamander (Eurycea junaluska)

Long-tailed salamander (Eurycea longicauda longicauda)

Mabee’s salamander (Ambystoma mabeei)

Pine Barrens treefrog (Hyla andersonii)

Wehrle’s salamander (Plethodon wehrlei)

Birds (8)

Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

Bald Eagle

Caspian tern (Hydroprogne caspia)

Eastern black rail (Laterallus jamaicensis jamaicensis) FT

Gull-billed tern (Gelochelidon nilotica aranea)

Northern saw-whet owl (Aegolius acadicus)

Piping plover (Charadrius melodus melodus) FT

Red knot (Calidris canutus rufa) FT

Wood stork (Mycteria americana) FT

Wood Stork

Crustacea (5)

Broad River spiny crayfish (Cambarus spicatus)

French Broad crayfish (Cambarus reburrus)

Pamlico crayfish (Procambarus medialis)

Sandhills crayfish (Procambarus pearsei)

South Mountains crayfish (Cambarus franklini)

Fish (14)

Bigeye jumprock (Moxostoma ariommum)

Carolina madtom (Noturus furious)

Carolina pygmy sunfish (Elassoma boehlkei)

Carolina redhorse (Moxostoma sp.)

Least brook lamprey (Lampetra aepyptera)

Logperch (Percina caprodes)

Mimic shiner (Notropis volucellus)

Rosyface chub (Hybopsis rubrifrons)

Sharphead darter (Etheostoma acuticeps)

Sicklefin redhorse (Moxostoma sp.,)

Spotfin chub (Erimonax monachus) FT

Turquoise darter (Etheostoma inscriptum)

Waccamaw darter (Etheostoma perlongum)

Waccamaw silverside (Menidia extensa) FT

Mammals (4)

Eastern woodrat (Neotoma floridana floridana)

Northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) FT

Rafinesque’s big-eared bat (Corynorhinus rafinesquii rafinesquii)

Red wolf (Canis rufus)

Red Wolf

Mollusks (18)

Alewife floater (Utterbackiana implicate)

Atlantic pigtoe (Fusconaia masoni) FT

Big-tooth covert (Fumonelix jonesiana)

Cape Fear threetooth (Triodopsis soelneri)

Creeper (Strophitus undulatus)

Eastern lampmussel (Lampsilis radiate)

Eastern pondmussel (Ligumia nasuta)

Engraved covert (Fumonelix orestes)

Mountain creekshell (Villosa vanuxemensis)

Noonday globe (Patera clarki nantahala) FT

Notched rainbow (Villosa constricta)

Rainbow (Villosa iris)

Roan supercoil (Paravitrea varidens)

Sculpted supercoil (Paravitrea ternaria)

Smoky Mountain covert (Inflectarius ferrissi)

Tidewater mucket (Leptodea ochracea)

Triangle floater (Alasmidonta undulata)

Waccamaw ambersnail (Catinella waccamawensis)

Yellow Lance (Elliptio lanceolata) FT

Reptiles (6)

Bog turtle (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) FT

American alligator (Alligator mississipiensis) FT

American Alligator

Green seaturtle (Chelonia mydas) FT

Loggerhead seaturtle (Caretta caretta) FT

Northern pine snake (Pituophis melanoleucus melanoleucus)

Southern hognose snake (Heterodon simus)

Northern long-eared bat (Dave Thomas)

Yellow lance (NCWRC)

Southern hognose snake (Jeff Hall)

Special Concern

Amphibians (13)

Crevice salamander (Plethodon longicrus)

Dwarf black-bellied salamander (Desmognathus folkertsi)

Dwarf salamander (Eurycea quadridigitata)

Eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis)

Eastern Hellbender

Four-toed salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum)

Northern gray treefrog (Hyla versicolor)

Mole salamander (Ambystoma talpoideum)

Mountain chorus frog (Pseudacris brachyphona)

Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus)

Neuse River waterdog (Necturus lewisi)

Southern chorus frog (Pseudacris nigrita)

Southern zigzag salamander (Plethodon ventralis)

Weller’s salamander (Plethodon welleri)

Birds (19)

American oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus)

Bachman’s sparrow (Peucaea aestivalis)

Barn Owl (Tyto alba)

Barn Owl

Black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

Black skimmer (Rynchops niger)

Brown creeper (Certhia americana nigrescens)

Cerulean warbler (Setophaga cerulea)

Glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)

Golden-winged warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera)

Least bittern (Ixobrychus exilis)

Least tern (Sternula antillarum)

Little blue heron (Egretta caerulea)

Loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)

Painted bunting (Passerina ciris)

Red crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)

Snowy egret (Egretta thula)

Tricolored heron (Egretta tricolor)

Vesper sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus)

Wilson’s plover (Charadrius wilsonia)

Crustacea (9)

Carolina skistodiaptomus (Skistodiaptomus carolinensis)

Carolina well diacyclops (Diacyclops jeannelli putei)

Chowanoke crayfish (Faxonius virginiensis)

Graceful clam shrimp (Lynceus gracilicornis)

Greensboro burrowing crayfish (Cambarus catagius)

Hiwassee headwaters crayfish (Cambarus parrishi)

Little Tennessee River crayfish (Cambarus georgiae)

North Carolina spiny crayfish (Faxonius carolinensis)

Oconee stream crayfish (Cambarus chaugaensis)

Fish (28)

American brook lamprey (Lethenteron appendix)

“Atlantic” Highfin carpsucker (Carpiodes sp., c.f. velifer)

Banded sculpin (Cottus carolinae)

Blue Ridge sculpin (Cottus caeruleomentum)

Blueside darter (Etheostoma jessiae)

Broadtail madtom (Noturus sp.)

Carolina darter (Etheostoma collis)

Cutlip minnow (Exoglossum maxillingua)

Freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens)

Kanawha minnow (Phenacobius teretulus)

Lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens)

Least killifish (Heterandria formosa)

Mooneye (Hiodon tergisus)

Mountain madtom (Noturus eleutherus)

Ohio lamprey (Ichthyomyzon bdellium)

Olive darter (Percina squamata)

Pinewoods darter (Etheostoma mariae)

River carpsucker (Carpiodes carpio)

Sandhills chub (Semotilus lumbee)

Sickle darter (Percina williamsi)

Smoky dace (Clinostomus sp.)

Striped shiner (Luxilus chrysocephalus)

Snubnose darter (Etheostoma simoterum)

“Thinlip” chub (Cyprinella sp., c.f. zanema)

Waccamaw killifish (Fundulus waccamensis)

Westfall’s Darter (Percina westfalli)

Wounded darter (Etheostoma vulneratum)

Yellowfin shiner (Notropis lutipinnis)

Mammals (10)

Allegheny woodrat (Neotoma magister)

Buxton Woods white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus buxtoni)

Coleman’s oldfield mouse (Peromyscus polionotus colemani)

Eastern big-eared bat (Corynorhinus rafinesquii macrotis)

Eastern small-footed bat (Myotis leibii leibii)

Florida yellow bat (Lasiurus intermedius floridanus)

Pungo white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus easti)

Southeastern bat (Myotis austroriparius)

Southern rock vole (Microtus chrotorrhinus carolinensis)

Star-nosed mole (Condylura cristata parva)

Star Nosed Mole

Mollusks (32)

Appalachian gloss (Zonitoides patuloides)

Bidentate dome (Ventridens coelaxis)

Black mantleslug (Pallifera hemphilli)

Blackwater ancylid (Ferrissia hendersoni)

Blue-foot lancetooth (Haplotrema kendeighi)

Cape Fear spike (Elliptio marsupiobesa)

Clingman covert (Fumonelix wheatleyi clingmanicus)

Dark glyph (Glyphyalinia junaluskana)

Dwarf proud globe (Patera clarki clarki)

Dwarf threetooth (Triodopsis fulciden)

Fringed coil (Helicodiscus fimbriatus)

Glossy supercoil (Paravitrea placentula)

Great Smoky slitmouth (Stenotrema depilatum)

High mountain supercoil (Paravitrea andrewsae)

Honey glyph (Glyphyalinia vanattai)

Lamellate supercoil (Paravitrea lamellidens)

Mirey Ridge supercoil (Paravitrea clappi)

Open supercoil (Paravitrea umbilicaris)

Pink glyph (Glyphyalinia pentadelphia)

Pod lance (Elliptio folliculata)

Queen crater (Appalachina chilhoweensis)

Ramp Cove supercoil (Paravitrea lacteodens)

Ridged lioplax (Lioplax subcarinata)

Roanoke slabshell (Elliptio roanokensis)

Saw-tooth disc (Discus bryanti)

Seep mudalia (Leptoxis dilatata)

Spike (Eurynia dilatata)

Spiral coil (Helicodiscus bonamicus)

Mollusks (continued)

Velvet covert (Inflectarius subpalliatus)

Waccamaw amnicola (Amnicola sp.)

Waccamaw siltsnail (Cincinnatia sp.)

Wavy-rayed lampmussel (Lampsilis fasciola)

Reptiles (13)

Carolina pigmy rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius miliarius)

Carolina swamp snake (Seminatrix [=Liodytes] pygaea paludis)

Carolina water snake (Nerodia sipedon williamengelsi)

Cumberland slider (Trachemys scripta troostii)

Diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin)

Diamondback Terrapin

Eastern chicken turtle (Deirochelys reticularia reticularia)

Eastern coachwhip (Masticophis [=Coluber] flagellum flagellum)

Eastern slender glass lizard (Ophisaurus attenuatus longicaudus)

Eastern spiny softshell (Apalone spinifera spinifera)

Northern map turtle (Graptemys geographica)

Outer Banks kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula sticticeps)

Stripeneck musk turtle (Sternotherus minor peltifer)

Timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus)

What can you do to help?

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The Hedrick Project is a Charlotte, NC-based 501c(3) on a mission to better animal, human, and environmental life globally. We do this by using media and storytelling to raise awareness and fundraise for our extraordinary partner organizations.


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