Endangered by Sprawl

The rapid consumption of land in the nation’s fastest-growing large metropolitan areas could threaten the survival of nearly one out of every three imperiled species, according to the first study ever to quantify the impact of sprawling development on wildlife nationally. In at least three dozen rapidly-growing counties found mostly in the South and West, open space on non-federal lands is being lost so quickly that essential wildlife habitat will be mostly gone within the next two decades, unless development patterns are altered.

According to the report Endangered By Sprawl: How Runaway Development Threatens America’s Wildlife, produced by the National Wildlife Federation, Smart Growth America, and NatureServe, the rapid conversion of once-natural areas and farmland into subdivisions, shopping centers, roads and parking lots has become a leading threat to America’s native plants and animals.

Click here to download the full Endangered by Sprawl report (PDF)
Click here to download the press release (PDF)
Click here to download the Top 20 Counties with Greatest Ratio of Projected Demand to Available Supply (PDF)
Click here to download the Top 20 Counties with the Most Open Space Projected to be Developed Through 2025 Under Existing Sprawl Patterns (PDF)
Click here to download the Top 20 Counties in Fastest-Growing Large Metro Areas with the Largest Number of Imperiled Species (PDF)
Click here to download the list of species (PDF)
(A comprehensive listing of imperiled species and where they live can be found at Natureserve’s Explorer.)

Additional Resources

Exurb growth challenges U.S. cities (CNN, March, 25, 2005)
Sprawl Pushes Wildlife to the Brink (eMagazine.com, January 19, 2005)
Sprawl Called a Threat to Wildlife (CBS, January 12, 2005)