The San Francisco Bay-Delta was named in a report today as one of the nation's most vulnerable habitats for endangered wildlife.
The delta, which is West Coast's largest estuary making up about 1,000 square miles, was named in a report released by the Endangered Species
Coalition as among the top 10 places where wildlife on the brink of extinction needs protection.
According to the report, "It's Getting Hot Out There: Top 10 Places to Save for Endangered Species in a Warming World," 12 of the delta's
original 29 indigenous fish are either extinct or endangered.
The Delta smelt, a fish whose numbers were once abundant, is now considered endangered.
Also on the list are California's Sierra-Nevada mountains, the Hawaiian Islands and the Southwest deserts.
"These 10 places are key homes for endangered species and are under significant danger because of climate change," said Dr. Mark Rockwell,
the California representative of the Endangered Species Coalition.
Rockwell said the delta has been seeing less snowfall and rainfall in recent years, which could be why "we've had record low fish numbers in the delta," he said.
The delta also supplies water to about 23 million Californians, which means wildlife could become endangered if more water is drained, he
"There has been more demand for water than we've had in the past," he said.
The Endangered Species Coalition is a national network of science and conservation specialists who aim to protect wildlife and wild land.
The organization collected about 400 submissions for the list of places to save endangered life, and a team of scientists chose the top 10 places from the submissions, Rockwell said.
The full report can be found on an Endangered Species Coalition website, itsgettinghotoutthere.org.