The Division has legal authority over Ohio's fish and wildlife, which includes about 56 species of mammals, 200 species of breeding birds, 84 species and subspecies of amphibians and reptiles, 170 species of fish, 70 species of mollusks, and 20 species of crustaceans.
In addition, there are thousands of species of insects and other invertebrates that fall under the Division's jurisdiction. Ohio law also allows the chief of the Division to adopt rules restricting the taking or possessing of native wildlife threatened with statewide extirpation and to develop and periodically update a list of endangered species (Ohio Revised Code 1531.25). The first list of Ohio’s endangered wildlife was adopted in 1974 and included 71 species. An extensive examination of the list is conducted every five years. The Division seeks input from our staff and other wildlife experts across Ohio.
The status of native wildlife species is very important to the Division. While the listing process identifies individual wildlife species needing protection, it also provides direction for the allocation of personnel time and funds in Division programs and projects.
A list of Ohio's most current list of state listed wildlife species: State Listed Wildlife Species [pdf]
The Division uses six categories: endangered, threatened, species of concern, special interest, extirpated, and extinct, to further define the status of selected wildlife. These categories and the species contained within them are revised as our knowledge of the status of Ohio’s wildlife evolves.
- Endangered: A native species or subspecies threatened with extirpation from the state. The danger may result from one or more causes, such as habitat loss, pollution, predation, interspecific competition, or disease.
- Threatened: A species or subspecies whose survival in Ohio is not in immediate jeopardy, but to which a threat exists. Continued or increased stress will result in its becoming endangered.
- Species of Concern: A species or subspecies which might become threatened in Ohio under continued or increased stress. Also, a species or subspecies for which there is some concern, but for which information is insufficient to permit an adequate status evaluation. This category may contain species designated as a furbearer or game species, but whose statewide population is dependent on the quality and/or quantity of habitat and is not adversely impacted by regulated harvest.
- Special Interest: A species that occurs periodically and is capable of breeding in Ohio. It is at the edge of a larger, contiguous range with viable population(s) within the core of its range. These species have no federal endangered or threatened status, are at low breeding densities in the state, and have not been recently released to enhance Ohio’s wildlife diversity. With the exception of efforts to conserve occupied areas, minimal management efforts will be directed for these species because it is unlikely to result in significant increases in their populations within the state.
- Extirpated: A species or subspecies that occurred in Ohio at the time of European settlement and that has since disappeared from the state.
- Extinct: A species or subspecies that occurred in Ohio at the time of European settlement and that has since disappeared from its entire range.
Number of State Listed Species in Major Taxa