Endangered species

Endangered species

Overview


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.
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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.

Many nations have law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

s offering protection to conservation reliant species
Conservation reliant species
Conservation reliant species are endangered or threatened animal or plant species that require continuing species specific wildlife management intervention such as predator control, habitat management and parasite control to survive even when self-sustaining population recovery goals are...

: for example, forbidding hunting
Hunting
Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...

, restricting land development or creating preserves.

Only a few of the many species at risk of extinction actually make it to the lists and obtain legal
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

 protection like Pandas. Many more species become extinct, or potentially will become extinct, without gaining public notice.

Conservation status



The conservation status
Conservation status
The conservation status of a group of organisms indicates whether the group is still extant and how likely the group is to become extinct in the near future...

 of a species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 is an indicator of the likelihood of that endangered species not living. Many factors are taken into account when assessing the conservation status of a species; not simply the number remaining, but the overall increase or decrease in the population over time, breeding success rates, known threats, and so on.

Internationally, 199 countries have signed an accord agreeing to create Biodiversity Action Plan
Biodiversity Action Plan
A Biodiversity Action Plan is an internationally recognized program addressing threatened species and habitats and is designed to protect and restore biological systems. The original impetus for these plans derives from the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity...

s to protect endangered and other threatened species. In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 this plan is usually called a species Recovery Plan.

Climate Change


Before greenhouse gases and global warming species were able to survive in their natural habitat. However the rapid increase of climate change has put animals at risk of becoming extinct. Nigel Stork in the article “Re-assessing Extinction Rate” explains, “the key cause of extinction being climate change, and in particular rising temperatures, rather than deforestation alone.” Stork believes climate change is the major issue as to why species are becoming endangered. Stork claims rising temperature on a local and global level are making it harder for species to reproduce. As global warming continues, species are no longer able to survive and their kind starts to deteriorate. This is a repeating cycle that is starting to increase at a rapid rate because of climate change therefore landing many species on the endangered species list.

IUCN Red List Endangered species


IUCN Red List
IUCN Red List
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species , founded in 1963, is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature is the world's main authority on the conservation status of species...

 refers to a specific category of threatened species
Threatened species
Threatened species are any speciesg animals, plants, fungi, etc.) which are vulnerable to endangerment in the near future.The World Conservation Union is the foremost authority on threatened species, and treats threatened species not as a single category, but as a group of three categories,...

, and may include critically endangered species.
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species uses the term endangered species as a specific category of imperilment, rather than as a general term. Under the IUCN Categories and Criteria, endangered species is between critically endangered and vulnerable. Also critically endangered species may also be counted as endangered species and fill all the criteria

The more general term used by the IUCN for species at risk of extinction is threatened species
Threatened species
Threatened species are any speciesg animals, plants, fungi, etc.) which are vulnerable to endangerment in the near future.The World Conservation Union is the foremost authority on threatened species, and treats threatened species not as a single category, but as a group of three categories,...

, which also includes the less-at-risk category of vulnerable species
Vulnerable species
On 30 January 2010, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species identified 9694 Vulnerable species, subspecies and varieties, stocks and sub-populations.-References:...

 together with endangered and critically endangered.
IUCN categories include:
  • Extinct: Examples: Dinosaurs, Pterosaurs, Javan Tiger
    Javan Tiger
    The Javan tiger is an extinct tiger subspecies that inhabited the Indonesian island of Java until the mid-1970s. It was one of the three subspecies limited to islands.Mazák, J.H., Groves, C.P....

    , Thylacine
    Thylacine
    The thylacine or ,also ;binomial name: Thylacinus cynocephalus, Greek for "dog-headed pouched one") was the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times. It is commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger or the Tasmanian wolf...

    , Dodo
    Dodo
    The dodo was a flightless bird endemic to the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. Related to pigeons and doves, it stood about a meter tall, weighing about , living on fruit, and nesting on the ground....

    , Passenger Pigeon
    Passenger Pigeon
    The Passenger Pigeon or Wild Pigeon was a bird, now extinct, that existed in North America and lived in enormous migratory flocks until the early 20th century...

    , Caribbean Monk Seal
    Caribbean Monk Seal
    The Caribbean monk seal or West Indian monk seal is an extinct species of seal. It is the only seal ever known to be native to the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The last verified recorded sighting occurred in 1952 at Serranilla Bank...

    , Steller's Sea Cow
    Steller's Sea Cow
    Steller's sea cow was a large herbivorous marine mammal. In historical times, it was the largest member of the order Sirenia, which includes its closest living relative, the dugong , and the manatees...

    , Aurochs
    Aurochs
    The aurochs , the ancestor of domestic cattle, were a type of large wild cattle which inhabited Europe, Asia and North Africa, but is now extinct; it survived in Europe until 1627....

    , Elephant Bird
    Elephant bird
    Elephant birds are an extinct family of flightless birds found only on the island of Madagascar and comprising the genera Aepyornis and Mullerornis.-Description:...

    , Moa
    Moa
    The moa were eleven species of flightless birds endemic to New Zealand. The two largest species, Dinornis robustus and Dinornis novaezelandiae, reached about in height with neck outstretched, and weighed about ....

    , Haast's Eagle
    Haast's Eagle
    Haast's Eagle was a species of massive eagles that once lived on the South Island of New Zealand. The species was the largest eagle known to have existed. Its prey consisted mainly of gigantic flightless birds that were unable to defend themselves from the striking force and speed of these eagles,...

    , Woolly Mammoth
    Woolly mammoth
    The woolly mammoth , also called the tundra mammoth, is a species of mammoth. This animal is known from bones and frozen carcasses from northern North America and northern Eurasia with the best preserved carcasses in Siberia...

    , Woolly Rhinoceros
    Woolly Rhinoceros
    The woolly rhinoceros is an extinct species of rhinoceros that was common throughout Europe and Asia during the Pleistocene epoch and survived the last glacial period. The genus name Coelodonta means "cavity tooth"...

    , Dusky Seaside Sparrow
    Dusky Seaside Sparrow
    The Dusky Seaside Sparrow, Ammodramus maritimus nigrescens, was a non-migratory subspecies of the Seaside Sparrow, found in Southern Florida in the natural salt marshes of Merritt Island and along the St. Johns River...

    , Golden Toad
    Golden toad
    The golden toad was a small, shiny, bright true toad that was once abundant in a small region of high-altitude cloud-covered tropical forests, about 30 square kilometers in area, above the city of Monteverde, Costa Rica. For this reason, it is sometimes also called the Monteverde golden toad, or...

    , Toolache Wallaby
    Toolache Wallaby
    The Toolache Wallaby or Grey's Wallaby is an extinct species of wallaby from south-eastern South Australia and South-western Victoria. Many people considered it to be the most elegant, graceful and swift species of kangaroo. It had fine fur with alternating bands of darker and lighter grey across...

  • Extinct in the wild: captive individuals survive, but there is no free-living, natural population. Examples: Hawaiian Crow
    Hawaiian Crow
    The Hawaiian Crow or Alalā is a species of bird in the crow family, Corvidae. It is about the size of the Carrion Crow at in length, but with more rounded wings and a much thicker bill. It has soft, brownish-black plumage and long, bristly throat feathers; the feet, legs and bill are black...

    , Wyoming Toad
    Wyoming Toad
    The Wyoming Toad or Baxter's Toad is an extremely rare amphibian that exists only in captivity and within Mortenson Lake National Wildlife Refuge in the U.S. state of Wyoming. The Wyoming Toad was listed as an endangered species in 1984, and listed as extinct in the wild since 1991...

    , Spix's Macaw
    Spix's Macaw
    Spix's Macaw is the only member of the parrot genus Cyanopsitta. They are critically endangered, possibly extinct in the wild The species is conserved through several breeding programs. It was found in Brazil, in parts of the Brazilian state of Bahia...

    (maybe critically endangered
    Critically endangered
    Version 2010.3 of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species identified 3744 Critically Endangered species, subspecies and varieties, stocks and subpopulations.Critically Endangered by kingdom:*1993 Animalia*2 Fungi*1745 Plantae*4 Protista-References:...

    ), Socorro Dove
    Socorro Dove
    The Socorro Dove is a dove that is extinct in the wild. It was endemic to Socorro Island in the Revillagigedo Islands off the west coast of Mexico. The last sighting in its natural habitat was in 1972. There are not more than 200 and probably fewer than 100 purebred birds in captivity...

    , Scimitar Oryx
    Scimitar Oryx
    The Scimitar Oryx, or Scimitar-Horned Oryx, is a species of oryx which formerly inhabited the whole of North Africa. It has been classified as extinct in the wild by the IUCN.-Etymology and taxonomy:...

    , Catarina Pupfish, Barbary Lion
    Barbary Lion
    The Barbary lion , also known as the Atlas lion or Nubian lion, is a subspecies of lion that became extinct in the wild or extinct in the 20th century....

    , Black Rhinoceros
    Black Rhinoceros
    The Black Rhinoceros or Hook-lipped Rhinoceros , is a species of rhinoceros, native to the eastern and central areas of Africa including Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Angola...


  • Critically endangered: faces an extremely high risk of extinction
    Extinction
    In biology and ecology, extinction is the end of an organism or of a group of organisms , normally a species. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the last individual of the species, although the capacity to breed and recover may have been lost before this point...

     in the immediate future. Examples: Mountain Gorilla
    Mountain Gorilla
    The Mountain Gorilla is one of the two subspecies of the Eastern Gorilla. There are two populations. One is found in the Virunga volcanic mountains of Central Africa, within three National Parks: Mgahinga, in south-west Uganda; Volcanoes, in north-west Rwanda; and Virunga in the eastern Democratic...

    , Bactrian Camel
    Bactrian camel
    The Bactrian camel is a large, even-toed ungulate native to the steppes of central Asia. It is presently restricted in the wild to remote regions of the Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts of Mongolia and Xinjiang. A small number of wild Bactrian camels still roam the Mangystau Province of southwest...

    , Ethiopian Wolf
    Ethiopian Wolf
    The Ethiopian wolf , also known as the Abyssinian wolf, Abyssinian fox, red jackal, Simien fox, or Simien jackal is a canid native to Africa...

    , Saiga, Takhi, Iberian Lynx
    Iberian Lynx
    The Iberian lynx, Lynx pardinus, is a critically endangered species native to the Iberian Peninsula in Southern Europe. It is one of the most endangered cat species in the world. According to the conservation group SOS Lynx, if this species died out, it would be one of the few feline extinctions...

    , Kakapo
    Kakapo
    The Kakapo , Strigops habroptila , also called owl parrot, is a species of large, flightless nocturnal parrot endemic to New Zealand...

    , Arakan Forest Turtle
    Arakan Forest Turtle
    The Arakan forest turtle is an extremely rare turtle species which lives only in the Arakan hills of western Myanmar....

    , Sumatran Rhinoceros
    Sumatran Rhinoceros
    The Sumatran Rhinoceros is a member of the family Rhinocerotidae and one of five extant rhinoceroses. It is the only extant species of the genus Dicerorhinus. It is the smallest rhinoceros, although is still a large mammal. This rhino stands high at the shoulder, with a head-and-body length of ...

    , Javan Rhino, Brazilian Merganser
    Brazilian Merganser
    The Brazilian Merganser, Mergus octosetaceus, is a duck in the typical merganser genus.It is one of the six most threatened waterfowl in the world with possibly fewer than 250 birds in the wild and none kept in captivity...

    , Axolotl
    Axolotl
    The axolotl , Ambystoma mexicanum, is a neotenic salamander, closely related to the Tiger Salamander. Larvae of this species fail to undergo metamorphosis, so the adults remain aquatic and gilled. It is also called ajolote...

    , Leatherback Sea Turtle
    Leatherback Sea Turtle
    The leatherback sea turtle is the largest of all living sea turtles and the fourth largest modern reptile behind three crocodilians. It is the only living species in the genus Dermochelys. It can easily be differentiated from other modern sea turtles by its lack of a bony shell. Instead, its...

    , Northern White Rhinoceros
    Northern White Rhinoceros
    The northern white rhinoceros, or northern square-lipped rhinoceros , is one of the two subspecies of the white rhinoceros. This subspecies is a grazer in grasslands and savanna woodlands. These animals are now feared to be extinct in the wild. There are currently seven left in captivity...

    , Gharial
    Gharial
    The gharial , , also called Indian gavial or gavial, is the only surviving member of the once well-represented family Gavialidae, a long-established group of crocodilians with long, slender snouts...

    , Vaquita
    Vaquita
    The vaquita is a rare species of porpoise. It is endemic to the northern part of the Gulf of California. Estimates of the number of individuals alive range from 100 to 300. The word "vaquita" is Spanish for little cow...

    , Philippine Eagle
    Philippine Eagle
    The Philippine Eagle , also known as the Monkey-eating Eagle, is an eagle of the family Accipitridae that is endemic to forests in the Philippines. It has brown and white-coloured plumage, and a shaggy crest, and generally measures in length and weighs...

    , Brown Spider Monkey
    Brown Spider Monkey
    The brown spider monkey or variegated spider monkey is a critically endangered species of spider monkey, a type of New World monkey, from northern Colombia and north-western Venezuela. Its taxonomic history has been confusing, and in the past it has been treated as a subspecies of either the...

    , California Condor
    California Condor
    The California Condor is a New World vulture, the largest North American land bird. Currently, this condor inhabits only the Grand Canyon area, Zion National Park, and coastal mountains of central and southern California and northern Baja California...

    , Island Fox
    Island Fox
    The island fox is a small fox that is native to six of the eight Channel Islands of California. There are six subspecies of the fox, each unique to the island it lives on, reflecting its evolutionary history...

    , Chinese Alligator
    Chinese Alligator
    The Chinese alligator or Alligator Alligator sinensis) is one of two known living species of Alligator, a genus in the family Alligatoridae. The Chinese alligator is native only to China...

    , Sumatran Orangutan
    Sumatran Orangutan
    The Sumatran orangutan is one of the two species of orangutans. Found only on the island of Sumatra, in Indonesia, it is rarer and smaller than the Bornean orangutan. The Sumatran orangutan grows to about tall and in males...

    , Asiatic Cheetah
    Asiatic Cheetah
    The Asiatic Cheetah is now also known as the Iranian Cheetah, as the world's last few are known to survive mostly in Iran. Although recently presumed to be extinct in India, it is also known as the Indian Cheetah...

    , African Wild Ass
    African Wild Ass
    The African Wild Ass is a wild member of the horse family, Equidae. This species is believed to be the ancestor of the domestic donkey which is usually placed within the same species. They live in the deserts and other arid areas of northeastern Africa, in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia; it...

    , Hawaiian Monk Seal
    Hawaiian Monk Seal
    The Hawaiian monk seal, Monachus schauinslandi, is an endangered species of earless seal in the Phocidae family that is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands....

    , Mediterranean Monk Seal
    Mediterranean Monk Seal
    The Mediterranean monk seal is a pinniped belonging to the Phocidae family. At some 450-510 remaining individuals, it is believed to be the world's second-rarest pinniped , and one of the most endangered mammals in the world.It is present in parts of the Mediterranean Sea and the eastern Atlantic...

    , Red Wolf
    Red Wolf
    The red wolf is a North American canid which once roamed throughout the Southeastern United States and is a glacial period survivor of the Late Pleistocene epoch...

    , Amur Leopard
    Amur Leopard
    The Amur leopard , also known as the Far Eastern leopard, Korean leopard, and Manchurian leopard is one of nine recognised subspecies of leopard. It is a wild feline predator native to the mountainous areas of the Russian Far East. It used to inhabit the forests of Korea and China, but it has...

    , Amur tiger
    Amur Tiger
    The Siberian tiger , also known as the Amur tiger, is a tiger subspecies inhabiting mainly the Sikhote Alin mountain region with a small subpopulation in southwest Primorye province in the Russian Far East. In 2005, there were 331–393 adult-subadult Amur tigers in this region, with a breeding adult...

    , Spix's Macaw
    Spix's Macaw
    Spix's Macaw is the only member of the parrot genus Cyanopsitta. They are critically endangered, possibly extinct in the wild The species is conserved through several breeding programs. It was found in Brazil, in parts of the Brazilian state of Bahia...

    , Siamese Crocodile
    Siamese Crocodile
    Siamese crocodile is a freshwater crocodile native to Indonesia , Brunei, East Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Thailand, and Vietnam...

     (maybe extinct in the wild
    Extinct in the Wild
    Extinct in the Wild is a conservation status assigned to species or lower taxa, the only known living members of which are being kept in captivity or as a naturalized population outside its historic range.-Examples:...

    )

  • Endangered: faces a very high risk of extinction in the near future. Examples: Dhole
    Dhole
    The dhole is a species of canid native to South and Southeast Asia. It is the only extant member of the genus Cuon, which differs from Canis by the reduced number of molars and greater number of teats...

    , Blue Whale
    Blue Whale
    The blue whale is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales . At in length and or more in weight, it is the largest known animal to have ever existed....

    , Asian Elephant
    Asian Elephant
    The Asian or Asiatic elephant is the only living species of the genus Elephas and distributed in Southeast Asia from India in the west to Borneo in the east. Three subspecies are recognized — Elephas maximus maximus from Sri Lanka, the Indian elephant or E. m. indicus from mainland Asia, and E. m....

    , Giant Panda
    Giant Panda
    The giant panda, or panda is a bear native to central-western and south western China. It is easily recognized by its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the panda's diet is 99% bamboo...

    , Snow Leopard
    Snow Leopard
    The snow leopard is a moderately large cat native to the mountain ranges of South Asia and Central Asia...

    , African Wild Dog
    African Wild Dog
    Lycaon pictus is a large canid found only in Africa, especially in savannas and lightly wooded areas. It is variously called the African wild dog, African hunting dog, Cape hunting dog, painted dog, painted wolf, painted hunting dog, spotted dog, or ornate wolf...

    , Green Sea Turtle
    Green Sea Turtle
    The Green sea turtle or green turtle is a large sea turtle of the family Cheloniidae. It is the only species in the genus Chelonia. Its range extends throughout tropical and subtropical seas around the world, with two distinct populations in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans...

    , Malayan Tapir
    Malayan Tapir
    The Malayan Tapir , also called the Asian Tapir, is the largest of the four species of tapir and the only one native to Asia. The scientific name refers to the East Indies, the species' natural habitat...

    , Tiger
    Tiger
    The tiger is the largest cat species, reaching a total body length of up to and weighing up to . Their most recognizable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with lighter underparts...

    , Steller's Sea Lion
    Steller's Sea Lion
    The Steller sea lion also known as the northern sea lion, is a threatened species of sea lion in the northern Pacific. It is the sole member of the genus Eumetopias and the largest of the eared seals . Among pinnipeds, it is inferior in size only to the walrus and the two elephant seals...

    , Asiatic Lion
    Asiatic Lion
    The Asiatic lion also known as the Indian lion, Persian lion and Eurasian Lion is a subspecies of lion. The only place in the wild where the lion is found is in the Gir Forest of Gujarat, India...

    , Markhor
    Markhor
    The Markhor is a large species of wild goat that is found in northeastern Afghanistan, Pakistan , India, southern Tajikistan and southern Uzbekistan...

    , Bornean Orangutan
    Bornean Orangutan
    The Bornean orangutan, Pongo pygmaeus, is a species of orangutan native to the island of Borneo. Together with the slightly smaller Sumatran orangutan, it belongs to the only genus of great apes native to Asia....

    , Grevy's Zebra
    Grevy's Zebra
    The Grévy's zebra , also known as the Imperial zebra, is the largest extant wild equid and one of three species of zebra, the other two being the plains zebra and the mountain zebra. Named after Jules Grévy, it is the sole extant member of the subgenus Dolichohippus. The Grévy's zebra is found in...

    , Tasmanian Devil
    Tasmanian Devil
    The Tasmanian devil is a carnivorous marsupial of the family Dasyuridae, now found in the wild only on the Australian island state of Tasmania. The size of a small dog, it became the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world following the extinction of the thylacine in 1936...

    , Japanese Crane, Gorillas, Bonobo
    Bonobo
    The bonobo , Pan paniscus, previously called the pygmy chimpanzee and less often, the dwarf or gracile chimpanzee, is a great ape and one of the two species making up the genus Pan. The other species in genus Pan is Pan troglodytes, or the common chimpanzee...

    , Wild Water Buffalo, African Penguin
    African Penguin
    The African Penguin , also known as the Black-footed Penguin is a species of penguin, confined to southern African waters. It is known as Brilpikkewyn in Afrikaans, Inguza or Unombombiya in Xhosa, Manchot Du Cap in French and Pingüino Del Cabo in Spanish...

    , Goliath Frog
    Goliath frog
    The goliath frog, Conraua goliath is the largest extant anuran on Earth. It can grow up to 33 cm in length from snout to vent, and weighs up to 3 kg . This animal has a relatively small habitat range, mainly in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea...

    , Lear's Macaw
    Lear's Macaw
    The Lear's Macaw , also known as the Indigo Macaw, is a rare Brazilian parrot with a highly restricted range. It is metallic blue with a faint, often barely visible, tinge of green, and a yellow patch of skin at the base of the heavy, black bill. It weighs around 950 g and is 75 cm long...

    , Rothschild Giraffe
    Rothschild giraffe
    The Rothschild Giraffe is among the most endangered giraffe subspecies with only a few hundred members in the wild. It is named after the famous family of the Tring Museum's founder, Lord Walter Rothschild, and is also known as the Baringo Giraffe, after the Lake Baringo area of Kenya, or as the...

    , Giant Otter
    Giant Otter
    The giant otter is a South American carnivorous mammal. It is the longest member of the Mustelidae, or weasel family, a globally successful group of predators. Unusually for a mustelid, the giant otter is a social species, with family groups typically supporting three to eight members...

    , Pygmy Hippopotamus
    Pygmy Hippopotamus
    The pygmy hippopotamus is a large mammal native to the forests and swamps of western Africa . The pygmy hippo is reclusive and nocturnal...

    , Hyacinth Macaw
    Hyacinth Macaw
    The Hyacinth Macaw , or Hyacinthine Macaw, is a parrot native to central and eastern South America. With a length of about 100 cm it is longer than any other species of parrot...

    , Volcano Rabbit
    Volcano Rabbit
    The Volcano Rabbit also known as teporingo or zacatuche is a small rabbit that resides in the mountains of Mexico. It is the world's second smallest rabbit, second only to the Pygmy Rabbit. It has small rounded ears, short legs, and short, thick fur. The Volcano Rabbit lives in groups of 2 to 5...

    , Proboscis Monkey
    Proboscis Monkey
    The proboscis monkey or long-nosed monkey, known as the bekantan in Malay, is a reddish-brown arboreal Old World monkey that is endemic to the south-east Asian island of Borneo...

    , Persian Leopard
    Persian Leopard
    The Persian leopard , also called Caucasian leopard, is the largest leopard subspecies, and is native to eastern Turkey, the Caucasus mountains, northern Iran, southern Turkmenistan, and parts of western Afghanistan...


  • Vulnerable: faces a high risk of extinction in the medium-term. Examples: African Elephant, Cheetah
    Cheetah
    The cheetah is a large-sized feline inhabiting most of Africa and parts of the Middle East. The cheetah is the only extant member of the genus Acinonyx, most notable for modifications in the species' paws...

    , Gaur
    Gaur
    The gaur , also called Indian bison, is a large bovine native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. The species is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1986 as the population decline in parts of the species' range is likely to be well over 70% over the last three generations...

    , Lion
    Lion
    The lion is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera, and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger...

    , Sloth Bear
    Sloth Bear
    The sloth bear , also known as the labiated bear, is a nocturnal insectivorous species of bear found wild within the Indian subcontinent. The sloth bear evolved from ancestral brown bears during the Pleistocene and shares features found in insect-eating mammals through convergent evolution...

    , Dugong
    Dugong
    The dugong is a large marine mammal which, together with the manatees, is one of four living species of the order Sirenia. It is the only living representative of the once-diverse family Dugongidae; its closest modern relative, Steller's sea cow , was hunted to extinction in the 18th century...

    , Polar Bear
    Polar Bear
    The polar bear is a bear native largely within the Arctic Circle encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is the world's largest land carnivore and also the largest bear, together with the omnivorous Kodiak Bear, which is approximately the same size...

    , Indian Rhinoceros
    Indian Rhinoceros
    The Indian Rhinoceros is also called Greater One-horned Rhinoceros and Asian One-horned Rhinoceros and belongs to the Rhinocerotidae family...

    , Komodo Dragon
    Komodo dragon
    The Komodo dragon , also known as the Komodo monitor, is a large species of lizard found in the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang and Gili Dasami. A member of the monitor lizard family , it is the largest living species of lizard, growing to a maximum length of in rare cases...

    , Great White Shark
    Great white shark
    The great white shark, scientific name Carcharodon carcharias, also known as the great white, white pointer, white shark, or white death, is a large lamniform shark found in coastal surface waters in all major oceans. It is known for its size, with the largest individuals known to have approached...

    , Hippopotamus
    Hippopotamus
    The hippopotamus , or hippo, from the ancient Greek for "river horse" , is a large, mostly herbivorous mammal in sub-Saharan Africa, and one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae After the elephant and rhinoceros, the hippopotamus is the third largest land mammal and the heaviest...

    , Mandrill
    Mandrill
    The mandrill is a primate of the Old World monkey family, closely related to the baboons and even more closely to the drill. Both the mandrill and the drill were once classified as baboons in genus Papio, but recent research has determined they should be separated into their own genus, Mandrillus...

    , Fossa
    Fossa (animal)
    The fossa is a cat-like, carnivorous mammal that is endemic to Madagascar. It is a member of the Eupleridae, a family of carnivorans closely related to the mongoose family . Its classification has been controversial because its physical traits resemble those of cats, yet other traits suggest a...

    , Crowned Crane
    Grey Crowned Crane
    The Grey Crowned Crane is a bird in the crane family Gruidae. It occurs in dry savannah in Africa south of the Sahara, although it nests in somewhat wetter habitats. This animal does not migrate....

    , Clouded Leopard
    Clouded Leopard
    The clouded leopard is a felid found from the Himalayan foothills through mainland Southeast Asia into China, and has been classified as vulnerable in 2008 by IUCN...

    , Sarus Crane
    Sarus Crane
    The Sarus Crane is a large non-migratory crane found in parts of the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Australia. The tallest of the flying birds, standing at a height of up to 1.8 m , they are conspicuous and iconic species of open wetlands...

    , Galapagos Tortoise
    Galápagos tortoise
    The Galápagos tortoise or Galápagos giant tortoise is the largest living species of tortoise, reaching weights of over and lengths of over . With life spans in the wild of over 100 years, it is one of the longest-lived vertebrates...

    , Mountain Zebra
    Mountain Zebra
    The Mountain Zebra, Equus zebra, is a threatened species of equid native to south-western Angola, Namibia and South Africa. It has two subspecies, the Cape Mountain Zebra and Hartmann's Mountain Zebra , though it has been suggested these should be considered separate species.-Taxonomy:In 2004,...

    , Humboldt Penguin
    Humboldt Penguin
    The Humboldt Penguin is a South American penguin, that breeds in coastal Peru and Chile. Its nearest relatives are the African Penguin, the Magellanic Penguin and the Galápagos Penguin...

    , Golden Hamster
    Golden Hamster
    The golden hamster or Syrian hamster, Mesocricetus auratus, is a very well known member of the rodent subfamily Cricetinae, the hamsters. In the wild they are now considered vulnerable. Their numbers have been declining due to loss of habitat and deliberate destruction by humans. However, they are...

    , Maned Sloth

  • Near threatened: may be considered threatened in the near future. Examples: Blue-billed Duck
    Blue-billed Duck
    The Blue-billed Duck is a small Australian stiff-tailed duck, with both the male and female growing to a length of 40 cm . The male has a slate-blue bill which changes to bright-blue during the breeding season, hence the duck’s common name . The male has deep chestnut plumage during breeding...

    , Solitary Eagle
    Solitary Eagle
    The Montane Solitary Eagle, Harpyhaliaetus solitarius, is a large Neotropical eagle.- Range and habitat :The Montane Solitary Eagle is native to Mexico and Central and South America. It is found in mountainous or hilly forests, at elevations between 600 m & 2,200 m...

    , American Bison
    American Bison
    The American bison , also commonly known as the American buffalo, is a North American species of bison that once roamed the grasslands of North America in massive herds...

    , Jaguar
    Jaguar
    The jaguar is a big cat, a feline in the Panthera genus, and is the only Panthera species found in the Americas. The jaguar is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion, and the largest in the Western Hemisphere. The jaguar's present range extends from Southern United States and Mexico...

    , Leopard
    Leopard
    The leopard , Panthera pardus, is a member of the Felidae family and the smallest of the four "big cats" in the genus Panthera, the other three being the tiger, lion, and jaguar. The leopard was once distributed across eastern and southern Asia and Africa, from Siberia to South Africa, but its...

    , Maned Wolf
    Maned Wolf
    The maned wolf is the largest canid of South America, resembling a large fox with reddish fur.This mammal is found in open and semi-open habitats, especially grasslands with scattered bushes and trees, in south, central-west and south-eastern Brazil The maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) is the...

    , Tiger Shark
    Tiger shark
    The tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, is a species of requiem shark and the only member of the genus Galeocerdo. Commonly known as sea tigers, tiger sharks are relatively large macropredators, capable of attaining a length of over . It is found in many tropical and temperate waters, and is...

    , Southern White Rhinoceros, Okapi
    Okapi
    The okapi , Okapia johnstoni, is a giraffid artiodactyl mammal native to the Ituri Rainforest, located in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Central Africa...

    , African Grey Parrot
    African Grey Parrot
    The African Grey Parrot , also known as the Grey Parrot, is a medium-sized parrot found in the primary and secondary rainforest of West and Central Africa. Experts regard it as one of the most intelligent birds. They feed primarily on palm nuts, seeds, fruits, leafy matter, but have been observed...

    , Striped Hyena
    Striped Hyena
    The Striped Hyena is a species of true hyena native to North and East Africa, the Caucasus, the Middle East, Middle and Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent...

    , Narwhal
    Narwhal
    The narwhal, Monodon monoceros, is a medium-sized toothed whale that lives year-round in the Arctic. One of two living species of whale in the Monodontidae family, along with the beluga whale, the narwhal males are distinguished by a characteristic long, straight, helical tusk extending from their...

    , Magellanic Penguin
    Magellanic Penguin
    The Magellanic Penguin, Spheniscus magellanicus, is a South American penguin, breeding in coastal Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands, with some migrating to Brazil where they are occasionally seen as far north as Rio de Janeiro. It is the most numerous of the Spheniscus penguins. Its nearest...


  • Least concern: no immediate threat to the survival of the species. Examples: Common Wood Pigeon, Rock Pigeon
    Rock Pigeon
    The Rock Dove or Rock Pigeon, is a member of the bird family Columbidae . In common usage, this bird is often simply referred to as the "pigeon"....

    , Giraffe
    Giraffe
    The giraffe is an African even-toed ungulate mammal, the tallest of all extant land-living animal species, and the largest ruminant...

    , California Sea Lion
    California Sea Lion
    The California sea lion is a coastal sea lion of western North America. Their numbers are abundant , and the population continues to expand about 5% annually. They are quite intelligent and can adapt to man-made environments...

    , Brown Bear
    Brown Bear
    The brown bear is a large bear distributed across much of northern Eurasia and North America. It can weigh from and its largest subspecies, the Kodiak Bear, rivals the polar bear as the largest member of the bear family and as the largest land-based predator.There are several recognized...

    , Grey Wolf, House Mouse
    House mouse
    The house mouse is a small rodent, a mouse, one of the most numerous species of the genus Mus.As a wild animal the house mouse mainly lives associated with humans, causing damage to crops and stored food....

    , Scarlet Macaw
    Scarlet Macaw
    The Scarlet Macaw is a large, colorful macaw. It is native to humid evergreen forests in the American tropics. Range extends from extreme south-eastern Mexico to Amazonian Peru, Bolivia and Brazil in lowlands up to up to...

    , Platypus
    Platypus
    The platypus is a semi-aquatic mammal endemic to eastern Australia, including Tasmania. Together with the four species of echidna, it is one of the five extant species of monotremes, the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young...

    , Bald Eagle
    Bald Eagle
    The Bald Eagle is a bird of prey found in North America. It is the national bird and symbol of the United States of America. This sea eagle has two known sub-species and forms a species pair with the White-tailed Eagle...

    , Brown Rat
    Brown Rat
    The brown rat, common rat, sewer rat, Hanover rat, Norway rat, Brown Norway rat, Norwegian rat, or wharf rat is one of the best known and most common rats....

    , Cane Toad
    Cane Toad
    The Cane Toad , also known as the Giant Neotropical Toad or Marine Toad, is a large, terrestrial true toad which is native to Central and South America, but has been introduced to various islands throughout Oceania and the Caribbean...

    , Humpback Whale
    Humpback Whale
    The humpback whale is a species of baleen whale. One of the larger rorqual species, adults range in length from and weigh approximately . The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with unusually long pectoral fins and a knobbly head. It is an acrobatic animal, often breaching and slapping the...

    , Emperor Penguin
    Emperor Penguin
    The Emperor Penguin is the tallest and heaviest of all living penguin species and is endemic to Antarctica. The male and female are similar in plumage and size, reaching in height and weighing anywhere from . The dorsal side and head are black and sharply delineated from the white belly,...

    , American Crow
    American Crow
    The American Crow is a large passerine bird species of the family Corvidae. It is a common bird found throughout much of North America...

     , Human
    Human
    Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

     Mute Swan
    Mute Swan
    The Mute Swan is a species of swan, and thus a member of the duck, goose and swan family Anatidae. It is native to much of Europe and Asia, and the far north of Africa. It is also an introduced species in North America, Australasia and southern Africa. The name 'mute' derives from it being less...

    , Mallard
    Mallard
    The Mallard , or Wild Duck , is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and has been introduced to New Zealand and Australia....

    , Red-tailed Hawk
    Red-tailed Hawk
    The Red-tailed Hawk is a bird of prey, one of three species colloquially known in the United States as the "chickenhawk," though it rarely preys on standard sized chickens. It breeds throughout most of North America, from western Alaska and northern Canada to as far south as Panama and the West...

    , Indian Peafowl
    Indian Peafowl
    The Indian Peafowl or Blue Peafowl is a large and brightly coloured bird of the pheasant family native to South Asia, but introduced and semi-feral in many other parts of the world...

    , American Alligator
    American Alligator
    The American alligator , sometimes referred to colloquially as a gator, is a reptile endemic only to the Southeastern United States. It is one of the two living species of alligator, in the genus Alligator, within the family Alligatoridae...

    , Southern Elephant Seal
    Southern Elephant Seal
    The Southern Elephant Seal is one of the two extant species of elephant seal. It is both the most massive pinniped and member of the order Carnivora living today...

    , Meerkat
    Meerkat
    The meerkat or suricate, Suricata suricatta, is a small mammal belonging to the mongoose family. Meerkats live in all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, in much of the Namib Desert in Namibia and southwestern Angola, and in South Africa. A group of meerkats is called a "mob", "gang" or "clan"...

    , Cougar, Brown-throated sloth, Eurasian Lynx
    Eurasian Lynx
    The Eurasian lynx is a medium-sized cat native to European and Siberian forests, South Asia and East Asia. It is also known as the European lynx, common lynx, the northern lynx, and the Siberian or Russian lynx...


United States



Under the Endangered Species Act
Endangered Species Act
The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is one of the dozens of United States environmental laws passed in the 1970s. Signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 28, 1973, it was designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as a "consequence of economic growth and...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, "endangered" is the more protected of the two categories. The Salt Creek tiger beetle
Salt Creek tiger beetle
The Salt Creek tiger beetle, Cicindela nevadica lincolniana, is a critically endangered subspecies of tiger beetle endemic to the saline wetlands of northern Lancaster County, Nebraska, adjacent to and immediately to the north of the city of Lincoln. It is a predatory insect, using its mandibles...

 (Cicindela nevadica lincolniana) is an example of an endangered subspecies protected under the ESA.
In the United States alone, the “known species threatened with extinction is ten times higher than the number protected under the Endangered Species Act” (Wilcove & Master, 2008, p. 414). The US Fish and Wildlife Service as well as the National Marine Fisheries Service are held responsible for classifying and protecting endangered species, yet, adding a particular species to the list is a long, controversial process and in reality it represents only a fraction of imperiled plant and animal life (Wilcove & Master, 2008, p. 414).

Some endangered species laws are controversial
Controversy
Controversy is a state of prolonged public dispute or debate, usually concerning a matter of opinion. The word was coined from the Latin controversia, as a composite of controversus – "turned in an opposite direction," from contra – "against" – and vertere – to turn, or versus , hence, "to turn...

. Typical areas of controversy include: criteria for placing a species on the endangered species list, and criteria for removing a species from the list once its population has recovered; whether restrictions on land development constitute a "taking" of land by the government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

; the related question of whether private landowners should be compensated for the loss of uses of their lands; and obtaining reasonable exceptions to protection laws. Also lobbying from hunters
Hunting
Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...

 and various industries like the petroleum industry
Petroleum industry
The petroleum industry includes the global processes of exploration, extraction, refining, transporting , and marketing petroleum products. The largest volume products of the industry are fuel oil and gasoline...

, construction
Construction
In the fields of architecture and civil engineering, construction is a process that consists of the building or assembling of infrastructure. Far from being a single activity, large scale construction is a feat of human multitasking...

 industry, and logging
Logging
Logging is the cutting, skidding, on-site processing, and loading of trees or logs onto trucks.In forestry, the term logging is sometimes used in a narrow sense concerning the logistics of moving wood from the stump to somewhere outside the forest, usually a sawmill or a lumber yard...

, has been an obstacle in establishing endangered species laws.

The Bush administration lifted a policy that required federal officials to consult a wildlife expert before taking actions that could damage endangered species. Under the Obama administration, this policy has been reinstated.

Being listed as an endangered species can have negative effect since it could make a species more desirable for collectors and poachers. This effect is potentially reducible, such as in China where commercially farmed turtles may be reducing some of the pressure to poach endangered species.

Another problem with the listing species is its effect of inciting the use of the "shoot, shovel, and shut-up" method of clearing endangered species from an area of land. Some landowners currently may perceive a diminution in value for their land after finding an endangered animal on it. They have allegedly opted to silently kill and bury the animals or destroy habitat, thus removing the problem from their land, but at the same time further reducing the population of an endangered species. The effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act
Endangered Species Act
The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is one of the dozens of United States environmental laws passed in the 1970s. Signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 28, 1973, it was designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as a "consequence of economic growth and...

, which coined the term "endangered species", has been questioned by business advocacy groups and their publications, but is nevertheless widely recognized as an effective recovery tool by wildlife scientists who work with the species. Nineteen species have been delisted and recovered and 93% of listed species in the northeastern United States have a recovering or stable population.

Currently, 1,556 known species in the world have been identified as endangered, or near extinction, and are under protection by government law (Glenn, 2006, Webpage). This approximation, however, does not take into consideration the number of species threatened with endangerment that are not included under the protection of such laws as the Endangered Species Act. According to NatureServe’s global conservation status, approximately thirteen percent of vertebrates (excluding marine fish), seventeen percent of vascular plants, and six to eighteen percent of fungi are considered imperiled (Wilcove & Master, 2008, p. 415-416). Thus, in total, between seven and eighteen percent of the United States’ known animals, fungi, and plants are near extinction (Wilcove & Master, 2008, p. 416). This total is substantially more than the number of species protected under the Endangered Species Act in the United States.

Ç

NatureServe Conservation Status


NatureServe and its member programs and collaborators use a suite of factors to assess the conservation status of plant, animal, and fungal species, as well as ecological communities and systems. These assessments lead to the designation of a conservation status rank. For species these ranks provide an estimate of extinction risk, while for ecological communities and systems they provide an estimate of the risk of elimination. Conservation status ranks for ecological systems in North America are currently under development.

Conservation status ranks are based on a one to five scale, ranging from critically imperiled (G1) to demonstrably secure (G5). Status is assessed and documented at three distinct geographic scales-global (G), national (N), and state/province (S). The numbers have the following meaning:
  • 1 = critically imperiled
  • 2 = imperiled
  • 3 = vulnerable
  • 4 = apparently secure
  • 5 = secure


For example, G1 would indicate that a species is critically imperiled across its entire range (i.e., globally). In this sense the species as a whole is regarded as being at very high risk of extinction. A rank of S3 would indicate the species is vulnerable and at moderate risk within a particular state or province, even though it may be more secure elsewhere.

Species and ecosystems are designated with either an "X" (presumed extinct or extirpated) if there is no expectation that they still survive, or an "H" (possibly extinct or extirpated) if they are known only from historical records but there is a chance they may still exist. Other variants and qualifiers are used to add information or indicate any range of uncertainty. See the following conservation status rank definitions for complete descriptions of ranks marlon. d and qualifiers.

For more information, view:
  • Interpreting NatureServe conservation status ranks
  • Global, national, and subnational assessments
  • Assessment criteria
  • Relationship to other status designations

Impact on biodiversity and endangered species


In order to conserve the biodiversity of the planet, one must take into consideration the reasons why so many species are becoming endangered. “Habitat loss is the most widespread cause of species endangerment in the U.S., affecting 85% of imperiled species” (Wilcove & Master, 2008, p. 416). When an animal’s ecosystem is not maintained, they lose their home and are either forced to adapt to new surroundings or perish. Pollution
Pollution
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light...

 is another factor that causes many species to become endangered. Also, over-exploitation, disease
Disease
A disease is an abnormal condition affecting the body of an organism. It is often construed to be a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs. It may be caused by external factors, such as infectious disease, or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions, such as autoimmune...

 (Wilcove & Master, 2008, p. 416), and climate change
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

 (Kotiaho et al., 2005, p. 1963) have led to the endangerment of several species.

Humans have an impact on the species and their environment. “As human use of resources, energy, and space intensified over the past few centuries, the diversity of life has been substantially diminished in most parts of the world” (Ishwaran & Erdelen, 2006, p. 179).

Humans also set standards for which species they think should be saved and which species they find unimportant or undesirable. For example, the coqui frog, an invasive species in Hawaii, is so common there that its “nocturnal singing” reduces the value of homes and prevents hotels from using rooms near forests. Hawaiians have proposed eliminating the frog, and several wildlife managers want to release a pathogen to kill the frogs (Minteer & Collins, 2005, p. 333). The frog has decreased the value of homes and caused a loss of business for several hotels, so the Hawaiians decided it was acceptable to get rid of the group of coqui frog living near them.

Another example where the human impact affected the welfare of a species sex in the instance of non-native mute swans establishing themselves at Arrowhead Lake in Vermont. When the population of swans grew to eight birds, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department decided to take action. Two swans were eventually killed, angering animal welfare organizations and people living near the lake (Minteer & Collins, 2005, p. 333).

Yet another example of the human impact in the lives of endangered species is that of the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse. Research has shown that the mouse is not taxonomically different from the Bear Lodge meadow jumping mouse and the US Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed removing the Preble’s mouse from the endangered species list based on this information (Minteer & Collins, 2006, p. 333).

The importance of maintaining species


“Diversity of life and living systems are a necessary condition for human development” (Ishwaran & Erdelen, 2006, p. 179). Many question the importance of maintaining biodiversity in today’s world, where conservation efforts prove costly and time consuming. Species should be saved for “aesthetic and moral justifications; the importance of wild species as providers of products and services essential to human welfare; the value of particular species as indicators of environmental health or as keystone species crucial to the functioning of ecosystems; and the scientific breakthroughs that have come from the study of wild organisms” (Wilcove & Master, 2008, p. 418). In other words, species serve as a source of art and entertainment, provide products such as medicine for human well-being, indicate the welfare of the overall environment and ecosystem, and provided research that resulted in scientific discoveries. An example of an “aesthetic justification” in conserving endangered species is that of the introduction of the gray wolf into Yellowstone National Park. The gray wolf has brought numerous amounts of tourists to the park and added to the biodiversity in the protected region (Wilcove & Master, 2008, p. 418).

Another example, supporting the conservation of endangered species as providers of products for human well-being, is the scrub mint. It has been found that the scrub mint contains an anti-fungal agent and a natural insecticide (Wilcove & Master, 2008, p. 418). Also, the deterioration of the bald eagle and the peregrine falcon “alerted people to the potential health hazards associated with the widespread spraying of DDT and other persistent pesticides” (Wilcove & Master, 2008, p. 418).

This serves as an example of how certain fish can serve as identifiers of environmental health and protect human life as well as other species. Finally, an example of species providing for scientific discoveries is the instance of the Pacific yew which “became the source of taxol, one of the most potent anticancer compounds ever discovered” (Wilcove & Master, 2008, p. 418-419). Endangered species could prove useful to human development, maintenance of biodiversity and preservation of ecosystems.
Another approach is known as ecosystem conservation, where a focus is placed less on preserving any individual given species than on preserving the proper functioning of the ecosystem as a whole.

Helping endangered species


It is the goal of conservationists to create and expand upon ways to preserve endangered species and maintain biodiversity. There are several ways in which one can aid in preserving the world’s species who are nearing extinction. One such way is obtaining more information on different groups of species, especially invertebrates, fungi, and marine organisms, where sufficient data is lacking.

For example, to understand the causes of population declines and extinction an experiment was conducted on the butterfly population in Finland. In this analysis, the butterflies’ endangered list classification, distribution, density, larval specificity, dispersal ability, adult habitat breadth, flight period and body size were all recorded and examined to determine the threatened state of each species. It was found that the butterflies’ distribution has declined by fifty-one and a half percent, and they have a severely restricted habitat. One example of specific butterflies who have a declining distribution rate are the Frigga’s Fritillary and Grizzled Skipper, who have been affected by habitat loss due to extensive draining of the bogs where they live (Kotiaho et al., 2005, p. 1963–1967). This experiment shows that when we know the causes of endangerment, we can successfully create solutions for the management of biodiversity.

Another way to help preserve endangered species is to create a new professional society dedicated to ecological ethics. This could help ecologists make ethical decisions in their research and management of biodiversity. Also, creating more awareness on environmental ethics can help encourage species preservation. “Courses in ethics for students, and training programs for ecologists and biodiversity managers” all could create environmental awareness and prevent violations of ethics in research and management (Minteer & Collins, 2005, p. 336). One final way in which one can conserve endangered species is through federal agency investments and protection enacted by the federal government. “Ecologists have proposed biological corridors, biosphere reserves, ecosystem management, and ecoregional planning as approaches to integrate biodiversity conservation and socioeconomic development at increasingly larger spatial scales” (Ishwaran & Erdelen, 2006, p. 179).

One example of a federal mandated conservation zone is the Northwest Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument, the largest marine protected area in the world. The monument is essential to the preservation of underwater communities and overfished regions. Only researchers working in the area are permitted to fish, no corals may be removed, and the Department of Homeland Security will enforce restrictions on vessels passing through the waters via satellite imaging. The monument will serve as a home to an estimated seven thousand species, most of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world (Raloff, 2006, p. 92). This environmental monument demonstrates the fact that it is possible to create a safe environment for endangered species, as well as maintaining some of the world’s largest ecosystems.

Captive breeding programs



Captive breeding is the process of breeding rare or endangered species in human controlled environments with restricted settings, such as wildlife preserves, zoos and other conservation facilities. Captive breeding is meant to save species from going extinct. It is supposed to stabilize the population of the species so it is no longer at risk for disappearing.

This technique has been used with success for many species for some time, with probably the oldest known such instances of captive mating being attributed to menageries of European and Asian rulers, a case in point being the Pere David's Deer
Père David's Deer
Père David's Deer, Elaphurus davidianus, also known as the Milu , is a species of deer known only in captivity. It prefers marshland, and is believed to be native to the subtropics of China. It grazes on a mixture of grass and water plants. It is the only extant member of the genus Elaphurus...

. However, captive breeding techniques are usually difficult to implement for highly mobile species like some migratory birds (e.g. cranes) and fishes (e.g. Hilsa). Additionally, if the captive breeding population is too small, inbreeding may occur due to a reduced gene pool
Gene pool
In population genetics, a gene pool is the complete set of unique alleles in a species or population.- Description :A large gene pool indicates extensive genetic diversity, which is associated with robust populations that can survive bouts of intense selection...

; this may lead to the population lacking immunity
Immunity (medical)
Immunity is a biological term that describes a state of having sufficient biological defenses to avoid infection, disease, or other unwanted biological invasion. Immunity involves both specific and non-specific components. The non-specific components act either as barriers or as eliminators of wide...

 to diseases.

Legal private farming for profit


Whereas poaching causes substantial reductions in endangered animal populations, legal private farming for profit has the opposite effect. Legal private farming has caused substantial increases in the populations of both the southern black rhinoceros
Black Rhinoceros
The Black Rhinoceros or Hook-lipped Rhinoceros , is a species of rhinoceros, native to the eastern and central areas of Africa including Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Angola...

 and the southern white rhinoceros
White Rhinoceros
The White Rhinoceros or Square-lipped rhinoceros is one of the five species of rhinoceros that still exist. It has a wide mouth used for grazing and is the most social of all rhino species...

. Dr Richard Emslie, a scientific officer at the IUCN, said of such programs, "Effective law enforcement has become much easier now that the animals are largely privately owned... We have been able to bring local communities into the conservation programmes. There are increasingly strong economic incentives attached to looking after rhinos rather than simply poaching: from eco-tourism or selling them on for a profit. So many owners are keeping them secure. The private sector has been key to helping our work."

Conservation experts view the effect of China's turtle farming
Turtle farming
Turtle farming is the practice of raising turtles and tortoises of various species commercially. Raised animals are sold for use as gourmet food, traditional medicine ingredients, or as pets...

 on the wild turtle populations of China and South-Eastern Asia – many of which are endangered – as "poorly understood". While they commend the gradual replacement of wild-caught turtles with farm-raised turtles
Turtle farming
Turtle farming is the practice of raising turtles and tortoises of various species commercially. Raised animals are sold for use as gourmet food, traditional medicine ingredients, or as pets...

 in the marketplace (the percentage of farm-raised individuals in the "visible" trade grewg from around 30% in 2000 to around 70% in 2007), they are concerned with the fact that a lot of wild animals are caught to provide farmers with breeding stock. As the conservation expert Peter Paul van Dijk noted, turtle farmers often believe in the superiority of wild-caught animals as the breeding stock, which may create an incentive for turtle hunters to seek and catch the very last remaining wild specimens of some endangered turtle species.

In 2009, researchers in Australia managed for the first time to coax southern bluefin tuna
Southern bluefin tuna
The southern bluefin tuna, Thunnus maccoyii, is a tuna of the family Scombridae found in open southern hemisphere waters of all the world's oceans mainly between 30°S and 50°S, to nearly 60°S...

 to breed in landlocked tanks, opening up the possibility of using fish farming
Fish farming
Fish farming is the principal form of aquaculture, while other methods may fall under mariculture. Fish farming involves raising fish commercially in tanks or enclosures, usually for food. A facility that releases young fish into the wild for recreational fishing or to supplement a species'...

 as a way to save the species from the problems of overfishing
Overfishing
Overfishing occurs when fishing activities reduce fish stocks below an acceptable level. This can occur in any body of water from a pond to the oceans....

 in the wild.

See also



  • ARKive
    ARKive
    ARKive is a global initiative with the mission of "promoting the conservation of the world's threatened species, through the power of wildlife imagery", which it does by locating and gathering films, photographs and audio recordings of the world's species into a centralised digital archive. Its...

  • Biodiversity
    Biodiversity
    Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. Biodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems. Biodiversity is in part a function of climate. In terrestrial habitats, tropical regions are typically rich whereas polar regions...



  • Endangered Species Act
    Endangered Species Act
    The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is one of the dozens of United States environmental laws passed in the 1970s. Signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 28, 1973, it was designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as a "consequence of economic growth and...

  • Endangered Species Coalition
    Endangered Species Coalition
    The Endangered Species Coalition is a social movement organization designed to network various organizations working to protect both endangered wildlife and habitats....

     (ESC)
  • Ex-situ conservation
    Ex-situ conservation
    Ex-situ conservation means literally, "off-site conservation". It is the process of protecting an endangered species of plant or animal outside of its natural habitat; for example, by removing part of the population from a threatened habitat and placing it in a new location, which may be a wild...

  • Extinction
    Extinction
    In biology and ecology, extinction is the end of an organism or of a group of organisms , normally a species. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the last individual of the species, although the capacity to breed and recover may have been lost before this point...

  • Holocene extinction
  • Habitat fragmentation
    Habitat fragmentation
    Habitat fragmentation as the name implies, describes the emergence of discontinuities in an organism's preferred environment , causing population fragmentation...

  • In-situ conservation
    In-situ conservation
    In-situ conservation is on-site conservation or the conservation of genetic resources in natural populations of plant or animal species, such as forest genetic resources in natural populations of tree species...

  • IUCN Red List
    IUCN Red List
    The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species , founded in 1963, is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature is the world's main authority on the conservation status of species...

  • The Last Paradises: On the Track of Rare Animals
    The Last Paradises: On the Track of Rare Animals
    The Last Paradises: On the Track of Rare Animals is the title of a German nature documentary from 1967. It was filmed by Eugen Schuhmacher and Helmuth Barth.-Background:The filming began in spring 1959...

    (1967 film)
  • List of endangered animal species
  • List of endangered species in North America
  • List of National Wildlife Refuges established for endangered species
  • Overexploitation
    Overexploitation
    Overexploitation, also called overharvesting, refers to harvesting a renewable resource to the point of diminishing returns. Sustained overexploitation can lead to the destruction of the resource...

  • NatureServe conservation status
  • Rare species
    Rare species
    A rare species is a group of organisms that are very uncommon or scarce. This designation may be applied to either a plant or animal taxon, and may be distinct from the term "endangered" or "threatened species" but not "extinct"....

  • Red Data Book of the Russian Federation
    Red Data Book of the Russian Federation
    Red Data Book of the Russian Federation , also known as Red Book or Russian Red Data Book is a state document established for documenting rare and endangered species of animals, plants and fungi, as well as some local subspecies that exist within the territory of the Russian Federation and its...

  • Red
    Red-listed
    Red-listed species includes any indigenous species or subspecies considered to be extirpated, endangered, or threatened in their locale. Extirpated taxa no longer exist in the wild in the locale in which they are listed , but do occur elsewhere. Endangered taxa are facing imminent extirpation or...

     and Blue-listed
    Blue-listed
    Blue-listed species includes any indigenous species or subspecies considered to be vulnerable in their locale. Vulnerable taxa are of special concern because of characteristics that make them particularly sensitive to human activities or natural events. Blue-listed taxa are at risk, but are not...

  • Threatened species
    Threatened species
    Threatened species are any speciesg animals, plants, fungi, etc.) which are vulnerable to endangerment in the near future.The World Conservation Union is the foremost authority on threatened species, and treats threatened species not as a single category, but as a group of three categories,...

  • United States Fish and Wildlife Service list of endangered species
    United States Fish and Wildlife Service list of endangered species
    This list contains only the bird and mammal species described as endangered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. It contains species not only in the U.S. and its territories, but also species only found abroad. It does not contain fish, amphibians, reptiles, plants, or invertebrates,...

  • World Conference on Breeding Endangered Species in Captivity as an Aid to their Survival
    World Conference on Breeding Endangered Species in Captivity as an Aid to their Survival
    The World Conference on Breeding Endangered Species in Captivity as an Aid to their Survival is the world's first conference on Captive breeding...

     (WCBESCAS)
  • World Conservation Union
    World Conservation Union
    The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources is an international organization dedicated to finding "pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges." The organization publishes the IUCN Red List, compiling information from a network of...

     (IUCN)
  • World Wide Fund for Nature
    World Wide Fund for Nature
    The World Wide Fund for Nature is an international non-governmental organization working on issues regarding the conservation, research and restoration of the environment, formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States...



External links