Indiana State Endangered, Threatened, & Rare Species

Least Bittern

The least bittern is one of the smallest herons in the world, with perhaps only the dwarf bittern and the black-backed bittern averaging smaller in length. It can measure from 28 to 36 cm (11 to 14 in) in length, and the wingspan ranges from 41 to 46 cm (16 to 18 in). Body mass is from 51 to 102 g (1.8 to 3.6 oz), with most least bitterns weighing between 73 and 95 g (2.6 and 3.4 oz), making this perhaps the lightest of all herons.

The bird’s underparts and throat are white with light brown streaks. Its face and the sides of the neck are light brown; it has yellow eyes and a yellow bill. The adult male is glossy greenish-black on the back and crown; the adult female is glossy brown on these parts. They show light brown parts on the wings in flight.


Black-crowned Night Heron:

Adults have a black crown and back with the remainder of the body white or grey, red eyes, and short yellow legs. They have pale grey wings and white under parts. Two or three long white plumes, erected in greeting and courtship displays, extend from the back of the head. The sexes are similar in appearance although the males are slightly larger.. They are relatively stocky with shorter bills, legs, and necks than their more familiar cousins, the egrets and “day” herons.

Immature birds have dull grey-brown plumage on their heads, wings, and backs, with numerous pale spots. Their underparts are paler and streaked with brown. The young birds have orange eyes and duller yellowish-green legs. They are very noisy birds in their nesting colonies, with calls that are commonly transcribed as quok or woc.


King Rail:

The king rail (Rallus elegans) is a waterbird, the largest North American rail.Distinct features are a long bill with a slight downward curve, with adults being brown on the back and rusty-brown on the face and breast with a dark brown cap. They also have a white throat and a light belly with barred flanks. Immature birds are covered in down with light brown on the head and darker brown on the back and wings.

This bird’s call is a low repeated grunt transcribed as kek-kek-kek.

Spotted Turtle:

The spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata), the only species of the genus Clemmys, is a small, semi-aquatic turtle that reaches a carapace length of 8–12 cm (3.1–4.7 in) upon adulthood. Their broad, smooth, low dark-colored upper shell, or carapace, ranges in its exact colour from black to a bluish black with a number of tiny yellow round spots. The spotting patterning extends from the head, to the neck and out onto the limbs. Sexually mature males have a concave plastron and a long, thick tail. By contrast, sexually mature females possess a flat plastron and have a tail notable shorter and thinner than mature males. Mature males also have a dark iris and face; females typically have a yellow or orange iris and a similarly coloured face that is distinctly lighter than males. Juveniles appear female-like in this regard and at maturity males begin to develop darker features.

Blandings Turtle:

Blanding’s turtle is a medium-sized turtle with an average straight carapace length of approximately 18 to 23 cm (7.1 to 9.1 in) with a maximum of 25.5 cm (10.0 in). A distinguishing feature of this turtle is the bright yellow chin and throat. The carapace, or upper shell, is domed, but slightly flattened along the midline, and is oblong when viewed from above. The carapace is speckled with numerous yellow or light-colored flecks or streaks on a dark background. The plastron, or lower shell, is yellow with dark blotches symmetrically arranged. The head and legs are dark, and usually speckled or mottled with yellow. Blanding’s turtle is also called the “semi-box” turtle, for although the plastron is hinged, the plastral lobes do not shut as tight as the box turtle’s.

Smaller Forget-Me-Not:

Myosotis laxa is a species of forget-me-not known by several common names, including tufted forget-me-not, bay forget-me-not, small-flower forget-me-not, and small-flowered forget-me-not. It has a circumboreal distribution, occurring throughout some parts of the Northern Hemisphere. It grows in many types of habitat, including moist and wet areas; it is sometimes aquatic, growing in shallow water.

Redhead Gras:

Potamogeton richardsonii is a species of aquatic plant known by the common name Richardson’s pondweed. It is native to much of northern North America, including all of Canada and the northern and western United States. It grows in water bodies such as ponds, lakes, ditches, and streams. This perennial herb grows a narrow, mostly unbranched stem from a mat of rhizomes in the substrate. It reaches about a meter in maximum length. The leaves are up to 13 centimeters long and about 3 wide with crinkly pointed or rounded tips. The inflorescence is a spike of flowers arising from the water surface on a peduncle.