This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SAN DIEGO — From scenic beaches to mountainous terrain and deserts, San Diego County is home to numerous landscapes that provide great natural spaces for animals and plants.

That is why protecting all living things in those environments is essential, especially the endangered species population.

Learning about the endangered species in the area is the first step in helping them survive. Here are a ten endangered species that can be found in San Diego County:

1. Short-tailed albatross (birds)
Status: Endangered

Before becoming endangered in 2000, the short-tailed albatross was possibly the most abundant of the three North Pacific albatross species until millions were harvested by feather hunters, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Sightings of these birds have been recorded along the West Coast, as far south as the Baja Peninsula, Mexico.

2. California least tern (birds)
Status: Endangered

The majority of California least tern nest in Southern California, from Santa Barbara County south through San Diego County, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Loss of tern chicks has been attributed to American kestrels, loggerhead shrikes, house cats, dogs and other predators/weather factors.

3. Desert pupfish (fishes)
Status: Endangered

Found in habitats ranging from cienagas and springs to small streams and margins of larger bodies of waters, the desert pupfish is threatened with extinction due to habitat loss or modification, pollution and introductions of exotic fishes, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

4. Riverside fairy shrimp (crustaceans)
Status: Endangered

The Riverside fairy shrimp is usually restricted to vernal pools and other non-vegetated ephemeral pools in Ventura, Riverside, Orange and San Diego counties of Southern California. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the species is facing threats such as habitat loss, indirect effects of development/habitat fragmentation, nonnative plants, inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms, climate change and fire.

5. Pacific pocket mouse (mammals)
Status: Endangered

Found in Los Angeles County to the vicinity of the Mexican border in San Diego County, the Pacific pocket mouse is threatened by habitat destruction and fragmentation, depredation by domestic cats and recreational activities, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

6. San Diego fairy shrimp (crustaceans)
Status: Endangered

The San Diego fairy shrimp is limited to vernal pools in coastal Southern California and northwestern Baja California, Mexico, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Listed as an endangered species in 1997, the small aquatic crustacean is usually observed from January to March when seasonal rainfall fills vernal pools and initiates cyst (egg) hatching.

7. Peninsular bighorn sheep (mammals)
Status: Endangered

As of 2000, there was approximately 334 peninsular bighorn sheep found in Riverside, Imperial and San Diego Counties, from the San Jacinto Mountains south to the Mexican border, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It was listed as an endangered species in 1998.

8. Quino checkerspot butterfly (insects)
Status: Endangered

Following its disappearance during the prolonged 1980s drought, the Quino checkerspot butterfly has apparently undergone a limited increase, but still remains far below the pre-drought 1970s levels, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The species can be located in San Diego and Riverside Counties and several localities in Baja California Norte, Mexico.

9. Light-footed Ridgeway rail (birds)
Status: Endangered

Known as a reclusive marsh bird that generally resides in coastal marshes of Southern California and northern Baja California, Mexico, the light-footed Ridgeway rail was first listed as an endangered species in 1969, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

10. Unarmored threespine stickleback (fishes)
Status: Endangered

Listed as an endangered species in 1970 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the unarmored threespine stickleback is mostly found in the headwaters of the Santa Clara and low gradient parts of Los Angeles, San Gabriel and Santa Ana rivers. It is a streamline fish about six centimeters in standard length.