The 10 National Parks with the Most Endangered Species

National parks are critical for protecting the animals and plants that live in them, and no park denizens need that protection more than endangered species.

The Endangered Species Act has helped boost the populations of numerous imperiled species since it became law in 1973, and it has contributed to the recovery of iconic species such as the bald eagle, which was removed from the list in 2007.

Using data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NPCA worked with Defenders of Wildlife to identify the endangered species whose critical habitats overlap with national parks. Based on that inventory, the ranges of 381 imperiled species — including 286 endangered species, 89 threatened species and six species with other designations — include national parks. Some species, such as Big Bend National Park’s Guadalupe fescue, can be found nowhere else in the country.

From Great Smoky Mountains National Park and its diminutive spruce-fir moss spider to Kalaupapa National Historical Park and its 600-pound Hawaiian monk seals, here are the 10 national parks that, according to our methodology, are home to the most endangered species.

 

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