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Facts About Endangered Animals

Updated on August 23, 2012

It is a sad fact that the number of animal species are declining, thanks to human activity. While numerable species are already extinct ( in fact thousands of species in the last two centuries ), many others are in acute danger of extinction,. Here you got some important facts about what animals are endangered:

  • Around 40 species of mammals are now extinct. Some of them, though, are held in captivity. One-fourth of all mammals are at risk of becoming extinct
  • Global Warming has a severe impact. Many species are threatened due to the harms done to our globe.
  • Almost 7,000 vertebrate-species are threatened. More than 2,000 invertebrate species are threatened
  • Almost 300 fish-species are threatened. One-fifth of sharks are in danger of extinction
  • More than 500 - or one-third - amphibian species are in danger of extinction
  • One-eight of all birds are in danger of becoming extinct
  • Poaching of rare species has endangered certain species. Among these are Tigers ( 40.000 alive today ), Asian Elephants ( 20.000 ), Leopards ( 7.500 ) and Asiatic Lions ( less than 400! )

One of the organizations which monitor endangered species all over the world is The International Union for Conservation of Nature ( IUCN ). They release a report, "The Red List", with information about endangered species on our planet. The IUCN classifies the endangered animals, as follows:

Critically Endangered: Animals in this category are at extremely high risk of being extinct in near future. Among these species are: Bactrian Camel, Brown Spider Monkey, Gharial, Giant Turtle, Island Fox and Mountain Gorilla.

Endangered: These animals are also at risk of being extinct and include: Asian Elephant, Blue Whale, Dhole, Giant Panda, Markhor and Snow Leopard.

Vulnerable: These species are at high risk of becoming extinct in a medium span of time. Includes African Elephant, Cheetah, Hippopotamus, Indian Rhinoceros. Among these are also the Polar Bear endangered.

Endangered Rainforest animals

Most endangered animals actually live in forests. Due to farming, logging and other human activities the forests are dwindling. This means that the natural habitat of the animals disappears, which again means that the amount of animals are dwindling as well, because they cannot find food any longer, let alone find a place to live.

Giant pandas are legally protected under the wildlife conservation laws, being a rare breed of the bear family. They eat bamboo 12 hours a day.  Most of them live in China. 2,500 giant pandas ( estimated ) live in the wilderness
Giant pandas are legally protected under the wildlife conservation laws, being a rare breed of the bear family. They eat bamboo 12 hours a day. Most of them live in China. 2,500 giant pandas ( estimated ) live in the wilderness

WWF and the giant panda

World Wildlife Federation ( WWF ) was established in 1961, aiming to conserve endangered species. The giant panda - one of the most threatened species in the world - is the logo of WWF. Today it is recognized as the symbol of the conservation movement.

And, indeed, there are efforts being done to solve the problems: Most countries have agreed on a Biodiversity Action Plan to protect the endangered animals. And it is in fact possible to save some of the animals: 19 species have been removed from IUCN's list of endangered animals after their number recovered.

There are more than 3,500 protected areas in the world, such as reserves, wildlife refuges and parks.

But indeed there are a lot of things to be done, such as lowering deforestation and stopping illegal hunting.

Appendix: Top 10 Animals in Danger of Extinction 2012

This list is made by the web magazine All About Wildlife and based on data from IUCN, among other things the "Red List". Insects are not included. It has to be said that such a top 10 list is, of course, disputable. Other scholars might make a quite different list.

Anyway - these are among the absolute most endangered species in the world:

1) Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. May actually be extinct already.

2) Amur Leopard. The rarest cat in the world. Only 40 left in Russia

3) Javan Rhinoceros. About 60 individuals left

4) Greater Bamboo Lemur. A critically endangered lemur from Madagascar

5) Northern Right While. Only 350 left in the Atlantic sea

6) Western Lowland Gorilla. Dwindling because of illegal hunting and disease

7) Leatherback Sea Turtle. Dwindling drastically

8) Siberian Tiger. Biggest cat in the world - for how long?

9) Chinese Giant Salamander. Almost eaten to extinction by Man

10) Kakapo Parrot. Only few left.

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