Endangered animals are species where the number of animals living in the wild has been excellently reduced due to various reasons, such as deforestation or changing climate. It means they are at high risk of dying out shortly if we don’t take any steps to protect them.
Although extinction is a natural phenomenon, with between one and five species becoming extinct yearly, we are now losing dozens of species daily. One million species (including plants) will be estimated to be lost by 2050. Learning about endangered animals is the first step to raising awareness about this issue.
Endangered Animals For Kids: Facts
If you and your kids are learning about endangered animals in the classroom, you might want to learn some exciting facts for kids. For example:
- There are only 350,000 elephants left in Africa. It indicates a dramatic drop from the approximately 7.5 million African elephants recorded in the 1930s.
- The Red Panda is endangered because the trees they live in are cut down for wood. They are also hunted for their beautiful fur. Sometimes, they get caught in traps meant for other small animals.
- Humans are responsible for 99% of the endangered species.
- The Blue Whale is endangered because there are poisonous chemicals in the seas. As a result, they are sometimes hit by ships and can get injured so severely that they die. In addition, they can get caught in fishing equipment.
- Extinction is a natural process in the wild. The standard rate is about five species per year. However, the current extinction rate is over 12 species a day. It means that if we continue in the same way,30%–50% of currently known species of animals will be extinct within the next 30 years.
What Causes Animals to Become Endangered?
Humans are the biggest threat to animals today for several reasons, including the introduction of invasive species. One example is the grey squirrel that was introduced to the UK from America in the 1800s, leading to a decline in red squirrel numbers. Find out more about the impact of humans on animal populations below.
1) Habitat destruction
Habitats such as rainforests are being destroyed on vast scales to make space for farmland, commercial logging, or human settlements. This scale of deforestation and the clearance of other habitats for agriculture means that wild animals are confined to smaller spaces, making it more difficult to find food and raise their young. In turn, this causes wildlife populations to decline.
2) Hunting and poaching
Hunting and poaching are also responsible for falling wildlife populations, as animals are killed so that people can sell their fur and horns.
3) Pollution and pesticides
Pollution comes in many forms, including pollution from rubbish, air and water pollution, noise and light pollution, and soil contamination. In addition, pesticides can wash into rivers, contaminating the water and harming more than just the bugs targeted on crops.
4) Global warming
Global warming is having a significant effect on the habitats of lots of different animals. For example, the sea ice that polar bears rely on is disappearing. Similarly, countless animals, such as the hawksbill turtle, depend on coral reefs. But warming water is causing bleaching of the coral, putting the survival of many species at risk.
Endangered Animals For Kids Species List & Pictures
Here’s a list of endangered animals for kids:
African Wild Dog
Golden Lion Tamarins