Endangered species come in all shapes and sizes and this week, as two more come close to reaching this unfortunate status, we are reminded of the effects of our activities on creatures large and small alike.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday that the Bicknell’s thrush is being considered for endangered species status. The rare songbird is found in New York, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont during warm months and the Caribbean in the winter. The thrush breeds on mountaintops scaling over 3,000 feet in the Adirondacks — one of the most limited breeding grounds of any North American bird. As climate change progresses, its boreal mountain habitat of fir and spruce forests are getting smaller. The Fish and Wildlife Service will begin a yearlong review of the bird’s status after receiving a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity in Richmond, Vermont.

Meanwhile, looking at the other end of the animal kingdom’s spectrum, the Center for Biological Diversity and SharkStewards filed a petition with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Washington, D.C., seeking protection for the great white shark population on the West Coast. New research shows that the number of adult great whites off the coasts of California and Mexico “are alarmingly low” as the population faces threats from human activities. The primary threat is deadly gillnets that capture and kill the beasts during commercial fishing for California halibut, white sea bass, thresher sharks and swordfish.

“The fierce great white shark is no match for gillnets, which are like curtains of death for marine animals,” said Catherine Kilduff, attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity. “There are so few of these majestic sharks left in our waters, they urgently need protections.”

Main photo credit: Fotopedia