Endangered and Extinct Animals
Let's Learn about Endangered and Extinct Animals
Extinction of a particular animal or plant species occurs when there are no more individuals of that species alive anywhere in the world - the species has died out. This is a natural part of evolution.
But sometimes extinctions happen at a much faster rate than usual. For example, at the end of the Cretaceous period 65 million years ago, a mass extinction caused the death of many different types of animals and plants, including the dinosaurs.
Today human intervention is also causing rapid extinction. Hunting, habitat destruction and the over exploitation of wildlife means that many different types of plants and animals are being pushed to the edge of extinction.
When a species is threatened it is a warning that there is a problem of some kind with the species. If an animal or plant is threatened it means that it may become endangered if we don't take immediate steps to protect it.
Animals or plants that are considered to be endangered are in danger of becoming EXTINCTand need our immediate attention and protection.
There are about 450 animals in the United States that are listed as endangered, and about 160 that are currently threatened.
Worldwide, there are about 975 animals listed as endangered and 200 listed as threatened. Does that mean that most of the endangered animals are in the United States? No! But it does mean that the United States is pretty good at getting the ones who are endangered listed on the endangered species list.
Most plant and animal species that are actually endangered aren't on the list. Scientists have identified only about 1.5 million species in the world, and there could be as many as 30 million. Thousands of species become extinct every year before we even know they exist.
Some Animals that are Extinct