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A species becomes extinct when the last existing member of
that species dies. Extinction therefore becomes a certainty
when there are no surviving individuals that are able to
reproduce and create a new generation. A species may
become functionally extinct when only a handful of
individuals survive, which are unable to reproduce due to
poor health, age, sparse distribution over a large range, a
lack of individuals of both sexes (in sexually reproducing
species), or other reasons.
An endangered species is a population of organisms which
is at risk of becoming extinct because it is either few in
numbers, or threatened by changing environmental or
predation parameters. The International Union for
Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has calculated the
percentage of endangered species as 40 percent of all
organisms based on the sample of species that have been
evaluated through 2006.
THE CAUSES OF EXTINCTION ARE AS FOLLOWS
1. HABITAT DESTRUCTION AND
2. NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE
4. OVER HARVESTING
Habitat loss, as a result of human demand, is widely considered to be
the most important cause of animal extinction.
Rainforests are the main habitats for tropical animals.
There are huge demands laid constantly on forests by various parties.
For a more detailed discussion of how rainforest habitat is lost, see
Tropical rainforests are cleared for wood / timber resources,
development of petroleum resources (see the oil contamination case of
Ecuador rainforest), mineral resources, for cash-crop plantations and
NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE TRADE
Poaching and (legal and illegal) wildlife trade
are another common threat to animals. Some
examples of trade are-
BODY PARTS TRADE
TRADE FOR BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH
Environmental pollution which in many ways causes
global warming, is another cause for animal demise.
Yet again, tropical frogs may be seriously affected by
pollution of their habitats.
According to scientistes, more than one and one-half million species exist on the
earth today. However, recent estimates state that at least 20 times that many
species inhabit the planet.
In the United Stats, 735 species of plants and 496 species of animals are listed as
threatened or endangered.
266 of these listed species have recovery plans currently under development.
There are more than 1,000 animal species endangered worldwide.
There are more than 3,500 protected areas in existence worldwide. These areas
include parks, wildlife refuges and other reserves. They cover a total of nearly 2
million square miles (5 million square km), or 3% of our total land area.
Aquatic species, which are often overlooked, are facing serious trouble. One third
of the United States’ fish species, two-thirds of its crayfish species, and almost
three-quarters of its mussel species are in trouble.
The Baiji Dolphin
Functionally extinct by 2006.
IUCN: database entry.
Probably extinct by 2006.
IUCN: database entry.
Diceros bicornis longipes.
West African Black Rhino
Historially the Amur Leopard's range
included the Amur River Basin and the
mountains of northeast China and the
Korean Peninsular, but today it is only
found in one small area of far eastern
Russia, and (possibly) Jilin Province in
China. The main cause of the Amur
Leopard's demise: Being hunted for its fur
and for medicinal use. Declines in its
traditional prey have caused the leopard to
hunt domestic animal populations, causing it
to be further hunted.
The Axolotl, often called the 'Mexican
walking fish' though it's really a
salamander, is native to the ancient
water channel system of Mexico City. It
prefers deep brackish water with plenty
of vegetation. The threats to the
Axolotl's habitat date back the 17th
century, when the city's water system
began being neglected, drained and
having sewage dumped in it. The main
threat today is further degradation of
this water system. Fortunately, the
axolotl breeds well in captivity, perhaps
allowing wild reintroduction at a later
date, should its habitat be restored.
This is not only the
rarest, but the
strangest parrot in the
world. Imagine a
rather portly nocturnal
bird that never flies,
preferring to hike
through hilly forest for
miles every night.
Everyone knows the
beloved endangered kiwi is
a flightless bird. As if to
make up for its winged
impotence, the kiwi is
actually a violent,
temperamental little bird.
Winning the cutest. bat. ever. award is the
Bumblebee bat, which at its largest measures 1
inch. These tiny mammals hover like hummingbirds
and like all bats prefer caves and love feasting on
Coordinate funds with your neighbors and fellow concerned citizens to take out an ad in your local
newspaper. A half-page ad in your Sunday newspaper speaking about the threat of animal
extinction will increase the public's exposure to this issue.
Design a website devoted entirely to the potential extinction of an animal species. This site should
provide an online presence for your cause and offer a central organizing point for concerned citizens
around the world.
Partner with advocacy groups at a local university to promote ways to prevent animal extinction in
the community. The enthusiasm of college advocates can be harnessed under the umbrella of
preventing animal extinction.
Send donations to funds and foundations devoted to the protection of animals from mass extinction.
It is important to conduct research on how donations are used to find a wildlife fund with a good
Share your concern over animal extinction with the public through regular letters to the editor. Your
letters should be sent to your community's daily newspapers as well as alternative papers and weekly
publications in neighboring communities.
Organize public protests outside government offices, zoos and other facilities to
bring the problem of animal extinction to light. Your protest should be peaceful and
each person should carry brochures about ways to stop animal extinction.
Join the effort to stop animal extinction by volunteering with a local wildlife
foundation. These foundations need volunteers to work on educational displays,
fundraising campaigns and public events.
Mobilize your friends, family and fellow conservationists to write letters to
government officials on a regular basis. You should give everyone a contact list of
state and federal officials who have the power to protect endangered animals.
Conserve resources and live a green lifestyle as part of your effort to prevent animal
extinction. The simple acts of recycling bottles and using public transportation can
decrease the need to destroy habitats for additional natural resources.
Project Tiger is a wildlife conservation movement
initiated in India in 1972 to protect the Bengal
Tigers. The project aims at tiger conservation in
specially constituted tiger reserves representative
of various regions throughout India. It strives to
maintain a viable population of this conservation
reliantspecies in their natural environment.
In2008, there were more than 40 Project
Tiger.Tiger Reserves of India covering an areaover
37,761 km². Project Tiger helped to increase the
popula-tion of these tigers from 1,200 in the 1970s