The endangerment of species is a problem to be reckoned with all over the world. In 1967, the first official list for threatened or endangered species was published. Since that time, 28 species have come off this list; however, 10 species have become extinct.
The list of endangered species is updated on a daily basis. As of Feb. 22, 2015, the number of animals considered for this list was 10,796. This list includes several species from different collections.
The following is a list of animals documented as the most endangered: the North American ivory-billed woodpecker, the Russian Amur leopard, the Asian javan rhinoceros, the Madagascar Northern sportive lemur, the Asian saola, the leatherback sea turtle, the tiger, the Chinese giant salamander and the Samoan little dodo bird. The giant panda bear is on this list, but this animal has received a lot of media coverage.
There is also a generated list of those considered to be on the critical endangered list. Those animals include the New Zealand kakapo parrot, the greater bamboo lemur, the mountain gorilla, the Hawaiian monk seal, the Northern right whale and the Siberian tiger.
Species can become endangered for several reasons. Documentation has indicated that causes are often generated by humans. These human behaviors are subject to impoverish our planet. Some animals become endangered, threatened or extinct because of the changes to their natural environments. Cutting down trees or filling swamps and marshes are examples.
Species of fish and birds have had to contend with oil spills, acid rain and water pollution. Other reasons, for a number of animals on the endangered list, include the large group who have been hunted for their meat, fur and skins. There are animals that have been moved from their natural habitats to foreign places, which may cause a host of other issues.
The Endangered Species Act (ESA), which has been in existence for 40 years, has been very successful in assisting to preserve species such as the grizzly bear, the Okaloosa darter, the whooping crane and the black-footed ferret. The Oregon Chub was once on the endangered list due to the fact that the wetlands were being drained and they were prey for such fish as the large mouth bass. They are no longer under the protection of the ESA, and this is the first time a fish has been taken off this list.
The Mexican wolf was very visible in the southwest United States and was almost extinct by the 1970s. With the help of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this species were restored to the wild. There is a website for the California condor that is addressing this animal’s primary threat – lead poisoning.
There is an organization that is established called the Wild Animal Propagation Trust, which is comprised of 19 United States zoos. This group protects species in captivity so that they can mate without distraction or disturbance. Ultimately, the goal is to release them back into the wild, which is their natural habitat.
By Marie A Wakefield
Photo by Steve Dunleavy Cropped for Size – Flickr License