The Northern Mariana Islands is home to 21 federally protected mammals, birds, reptiles, and invertebrates, as well as 14 plant species. The purpose of the endangered species program is to protect endangered and threatened species and contribute data needed for population monitoring and management actions. The main challenges the program faces are the uncertainty of funds due to competitive grants and reduced federal funding allocations to the territories.

2023 Environmental Expo Marianas Crow Endanged Plant

The DLNR Sea Turtle Program aims to conserve and protect green and hawksbill sea turtles in the Mariana Islands. Currently, staff conduct nightly beach monitoring for turtle tracks, nests, or illegal harvesting incidents, educational outreach in schools, public events, and social media, and research the impacts of global warming on turtle nest temperatures.

The Mariana Crow, also called “Åga” in Chamorro, is an endangered bird now only found in Rota, CNMI. DLNR, in cooperation with the University of Washington and the San Diego Zoo, has been conducting a long-term research and conservation program on Rota. This program conducts population assessments, monitors nest success, rears and releases chicks, and studies other threats the Åga may face.

The endangered plants program focuses on three endangered plant species: Nesogenes rotensis, Serianthes nelsonii, and Osmoxylon mariannense. We conduct quarterly surveys to estimate population sizes, search for new occurrences, monitor plants that were outplanted, and collect seeds for nursery propagation. At our nursery, seeds are germinated and grown to a sufficient size before being outplanted in the wild.

This project/account is mainly used to fund the program manager position to supervise all staff, submits reports, review budgets, conduct administrative tasks, write grants, and address all endangered species inquires.