One of the most populous areas of the United States, the Southeast is also home to a richly diverse ecosystem. The area covers more than 430,000 square miles and 10 states, including parts of the Caribbean, Appalachian Mountains, as well as the Ozarks and the southern half of the Mississippi basin.
The Southeast is home to stalking panthers, lively parrots, gentle manatees and majestic whales. But it’s a land where the balance between animals and people is precarious — Florida alone is home to almost 19 million people, while the more rural Mississippi has a population of 3 million.
While 17.5 million acres are owned and protected by the government, there are still as many as 322 federally listed endangered species in the region. Here are nine animals currently under threat in the American Southeast. (Text: Katherine Butler)