01/26/2012 09:53 am ET Updated Mar 27, 2012

Endangered Places In The South Named By Southern Environmental Law Center (PHOTOS)

Which areas of the southern United States are the most endangered?

The Southern Environmental Law Center, a Charlottesville, Virginia-based nonprofit legal advocacy group, has released their fourth annual list of the top 10 places in the southern U.S. that "face immediate, potentially irreparable threats in 2012," according to a press release.

The SELC explains that the places on the list are endangered by efforts to "undercut environmental protections and to lower the hurdles for potentially destructive projects."

Marie Hawthorne, SELC's director of development, said in the press release, "The South's special places and natural riches are threatened by a wave of calculated attacks on the bedrock laws that protect our environment and health. Under the guise of promoting economic growth, anti-environmental forces are working in Congress, in state legislatures, and in government agencies to gut our most essential safeguards."

To view the SELC's 2011 list of the 10 most endangered places in the South, visit their website.

Advocating on behalf of endangered animals is also an important task. Check out photos by National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore, who is traveling around the U.S. photographing endangered animals in zoos.

List and captions courtesy of Southern Environmental Law Center. Images courtesy of credited photographers.

Top 10 Endangered Places In The South 2012