Big Bend National Park encapsulates the seeming contradiction of a harsh desert teeming with life. The largest protected swath of Chihuahuan Desert in the United States, the 800,000-acre Big Bend borders the Rio Grande in southwestern Texas and rises in elevation from less than 2,000 feet to nearly 8,000 feet. The park’s aerial menagerie is unsurpassed in the nation, with confirmed sightings of more than 450 bird species, 180 butterfly species and 20 species of bat.

Black-Capped Vireo
Vireo atricapilla
The Black-capped Vireo is a small bird native to the United States and Mexico. It has been listed as an endangered species in the United States since 1987. The IUCN lists the species as vulnerable.
Mexican Long-Nosed Bat
Leptonycteris nivalis
The Saussure's long-nosed bats or Mexican long-nosed bats form the genus Leptonycteris within the leaf-nosed bat family Phyllostomidae. Like all members of the family, they are native to the Americas.


Hawaii Volcanoes National Park boasts living marvels found nowhere else on earth. Visitors can spot a showy Kamehameha butterfly by mamaki trees, and admire one of Hawaii Island’s rarest plants, the hibiscus-like hau kuahiwi. In all, the park hosts 26 endangered or threatened endemic plant species, including the Mauna Loa silversword. Golden Gate National Recreational Area, the nation’s largest urban park, also has among the highest number of endangered plant and animal species. Teeming tidal pools and more than 100 sea caves stud the rocky California coast, where brown pelicans dive for dinner.

Hawksbill Sea Turtle
Eretmochelys imbricata
The hawksbill sea turtle is a critically endangered sea turtle belonging to the family Cheloniidae. It is the only extant species in its genus.
Nene (Hawaiian Goose)
Branta sandvicensis
The Nene, also known as Nene and Hawaiian Goose, is a species of goose endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. The official bird of the state of Hawai'i, the Nene is exclusively found in the wild on the islands of Maui, Kaua'i and Hawai'i.
San Francisco Garter Snake
Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia
The San Francisco Garter Snake is a slender multi-colored colubrid snake. Designated as an endangered species since the year 1967, it is endemic to California and resides only in San Mateo County, California, and the extreme northern part of coastal Santa Cruz County, California.
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