You might think that the only things that become endangered in Vegas are men’s souls and bank balances, but nothing could be further than the truth, with world famous flora and fauna clinging to its very existence just a matter of kilometers from the glitz and glamour of the Vegas strip, with its crazy casinos and entertainment resorts.
The next time you’re in town, even if you don’t have a wildlife loving bone in your body, you really should make the effort to seek out these natural beauties.
Mt. Charleston Blue Butterfly
The Charleston Blue is a tiny butterfly with a dusky under-wing that opens to reveal a stunning periwinkle blue. It solely exists in the Spring Mountains west of Las Vegas and has been officially endangered since 2013, as local ski areas and the Las Vegas tourist industry started to encroach on its habitat.
If you fancy trying to spot one, head out into the mountains in the summer months and search flat and rocky areas. With the Spring Mountains only being 25 miles or so from Vegas, your hotel reception should be able to easily point you in the right direction.
Head to the Spring Mountains and you may find yourself surrounded by miniature blue wings
North American Wolverine
If you thought Wolverine was just Hugh Jackman with a metal infused skeleton then not only are you beyond help, but you should also be made aware of the original mammal. Wolverines are extremely rare in Nevada but there have been occasional sightings in the Sierra Nevada.
It is essentially a huge weasel, and no we’re not talking about the annoying oddball you might have met at the poker tables. Known for its insatiable appetite and powerful jaws, this is one endangered animal you should not try to stroke should you come across it during a hike or stroll.
The wolverine is every bit as tenacious as the X-man who stole its name
The Giant Hairy Scorpion
Boasting one of the best names in the animal game, and also one of the fiercest stings, is the Giant Hairy Scorpion, which you would do well to keep your dog well away from lest he or she wants a nasty shock. This variety of scorpion tends to hang out in the cracks and crevices of Grand Canyon rather than the strip’s concrete jungle, but the odd one has been known to interrupt the odd dream trip to the entertainment hub of the universe. Imagine finding one of these in your bathtub or toilet!
Learn More at Red Rock Visitor Center
You have correctly deduced that this is not an animal. However, it is a place where you can learn much of what there is to know about endangered species in the Las Vegas area. Add to this the fact that it’s tucked away in nature’s answer to Las Vegas architecture, the rugged Red Rock National Park, and it’s well worth a visit.
Much like the wolverine, most mountain lions tend to prefer more remote wilds than even the vastness of Nevada has to offer, but that said there are still some that stalk the Grand Canyon. Perfectly camouflaged and fleet of foot, their unsuspecting prey never see them coming, and neither will you unless you keep your eyes peeled and your guard up.
There really nothing more iconic than the American Bald Eagle, so it would be somewhat ironic if the proponents of the American dream were to drive it to extinction. Luckily for Vegas visitors the eagle is a plucky beast, nesting well out of the reaches of pesky poachers and with a keen eye for a stricken animal about to give in to thirst or a traveler down on his luck and without a map. Spotting these feathered friends is easy; head to your hotel resort’s roof terrace, borrow some binoculars and scan the skies.