Endangered Species

If a species is likely to become extinct soon, then it will be designated as endangered. There are numerous threats in the natural world that can contribute to an animal becoming classified as endangered. Their habitat may be lost due to deforestation. An invasive species may bring their population down to dangerous levels. Sometimes humans will poach a species to such an extent that they risk extinction.

There are solutions to this global problem. Sometimes zoos create breeding programs to help save species with very small numbers. This means that the animals thrive in captivity instead of in the wild. There may be efforts to reintroduce them to their natural habitats.

Human beings are one of the most significant contributing factors to species becoming endangered. This mainly occurs when people hunt or fish to excessive levels. Sea turtles, wolves, grizzly bears, bald eagles and American bison are good examples of animals that currently face extinction.

Another issue is hunting simply for sport rather than for food. Recreational hunting can become an entire industry unless it is strictly regulated. It is not just land animals that have become endangered due to human activity. The oceans of the world are also facing a serious population crisis. The numbers of certain whales have particularly reduced in size.

Climate change is also a major factor. Some species can only thrive within a specific environment. When the temperature of their habitat goes into flux, it means that species begin to die out. It is likely that in the near future, more animals will become endangered unless these issues are addressed.

Extinct Species

When the population of an animal species is reduced to the point where it can no longer recover, then it is classified as extinct. The remaining members of the species are unable to breed enough. Eventually, the last individual dies and the specific creature is lost forever.

The vast majority of animals on the planet that have ever lived are now extinct. This is due to the fact that so many species have been competing with one another for billions of years. However, it has only been in recent years that human beings have drawn their attention to this issue. News sites such as the Guardian regularly discuss programs to conserve dying species. However, human activity has also directly led to animal extinction. The most famous example is that of the dodo bird.

In the natural world, evolution involves organisms finding their own ecological niche. This means that they can survive within a specific environment whilst others do not. This niche can also give them an advantage against predators or their prey. Animals become extinct once they can no longer thrive. It usually takes millions of years before this occurs.