Introduction - Endangered AnimalsThere are over three thousand endangered species in the world. These animals are at a risk of extinction and will disappear from the face of the earth if conservation efforts to protect them are not taken or are unsuccessful. In this section of Interesting Animal facts you will find information, facts, and statistics about endangered Animals. You will find information about what animals are in danger of extinction, where they live, how they became threatened, and what is being done to protect them.
There have been many amazing animals that have already been driven to extinction they include the Bali Tiger, Atlas bear, Dodo, Elephant Bird, and the Javan Tiger. Other species such as the Northern White Rhinoceros, Hawaiian Crow, and Scimitar Oryx are extinct in the wild and can only be found in conservation areas and zoos. Species including the Leatherback Sea Turtle, Mountain Gorilla, Javan Rhino, Mediterranean Monk Seal, Sumatran Orangutan, and the Sumatran Rhinoceros are classified as critically endangered. Below you will find a list of general facts about endangered animals.
General Endangered Animals Facts
- Many factors can lead to an animal facing extinction, including hunting, destruction of their habitat, climate change, and a decrease in their food supply.
- Numerous countries have laws protecting endangered species. These laws often involve limiting or forbidding hunting of a designated animal, and forbidding construction and land development in areas where the animal lives. These laws often cause controversy especially from land owners and hunters who believe their rights are being infringed on by the government.
- It is an unfortunate fact that most endangered animals are not protected under any laws. For example in the U.S., for every species protected under the Endangered Species Act there are ten other endangered species that are not.
- In an attempt to save some endangered animals from extinction organizations and governments will sometimes attempt to breed them in conservation facilities such as zoos and wildlife preserves. One major concern of this conservation method is the risk of inbreeding if the population of the species is too small. Inbreeding can lead to a lower immunity to diseases.
- Some scientist believe the main reason more and more species are becoming endangered is global warming. They believe global warming makes it harder for certain species to reproduce and therefore they inevitably become endangered.
- What constitutes an endangered animal? Who makes this determination? The most recognized organization for this task is the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Founded in 1948 they are the world's largest conservation organization with over 11,000 volunteer scientists and other experts. They have over 1,200 government and non-government members.
Classifications of Endangered AnimalsThe IUCN classifies endangered (and threatened) animals into the below categories.
- Critically endangered - At an extremely high risk of becoming extinct in the immediate future
- Endangered - At a very high risk of becoming extinct in the near future
- Vulnerable - At a high risk of becoming extinct in the medium-term
- Near threatened - In the near future may become threatened
- Least concern - A species which has no immediate threat to its survival