Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center

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Extirpated Species

Northern leopard frog

Northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) (USGS photograph by Charles Drost)

Despite the protection afforded national park units, a number of plants and animals that were once native to Grand Canyon National Park can no longer be found with the park’s boundaries. Native plants and animals that are no longer present in a place that was once their home are called extirpated species. The 2009 park profile for Grand Canyon National Park prepared by the National Park Service lists the following species as extirpated: grizzly bear, black-footed ferret, gray wolf, jaguar, Bear Valley sandwort, Colorado pikeminnow, bonytail, roundtail chub, and northern leopard frog. In addition, there are another 11 plants and animals that are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act and 68 species that are recognized as species of special or management concern. For these reasons, the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program has a goal to restore populations of extirpated species, to the extent feasible and advisable. Although restoring extirpated species is of great concern, recent efforts have focused on restoring population of humpback chub that is still in existence within the Grand Canyon and maintaining and restoring the sandbars that provide camping beaches for recreationists and habitat for the park’s plants and animals. Currently, no efforts are being undertaken by the USGS Grand Canyon and Monitoring and Research station to restore extirpated species.

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Last Update: November 3, 2011