Species of Special Concern
The Connecticut Endangered Species Act, passed in 1989, recognizes the importance of our state’s plant and animal populations and the need to protect them from threats that could lead to their extinction. The overall goal is to conserve, protect, restore and enhance any endangered or threatened species and their essential habitat.
Five of the eight turtle species that live in Connecticut year-round are listed as endangered, threatened, or of special concern. Turtles are excellent indicators of ecological health. This indicator includes the eight species of turtle that live in Connecticut (but not the four marine species that visit Long Island Sound in summer, all of which are threatened or endangered). In 2015, five of the eight resident turtle species were listed as endangered or of special concern: bog turtle (endangered), eastern box turtle, wood turtle northern, diamondback terrapin, and spotted turtle (species of special concern). The ability for turtles to sustain a stable population will be difficult because turtles take a long time to reach sexual maturity and have low survivorship when newly hatched.
Goal: The goal for all endangered and threatened species is for recovery of their populations to a stable, sustainable level.
Eight of the nine bat species are on the latest list of species that are endangered, threatened, or of special concern. Bat populations in Connecticut have experienced a catastrophic decline that led to the classification in 2015 of three more bat species as endangered in Connecticut and has raised concerns about the future of bats in the state. This decline in bat population, between 2007 and 2010, is primarily due to an epidemic fungal disease called white-nose syndrome (WNS). The chart (above) depicts data for the winter population of three cave-dwelling bat species at a sentinel hibernation site monitored annually by DEEP. This sentinel cave is one of Connecticut’s best remaining overwintering site for cave bats. Recovery, if one occurs, will be slow: adult female bats usually produce just one pup per year. Bats eat insects, including mosquitoes, a number of which may carry diseases that affect humans, birds, horses and other animals.
Goal: The goal for bats is for recovery of all nine species to a stable, sustainable population.