Endangered Animal Becomes EXTINCT

Learn the tragic story behind this unfortunate animal

The Sad Truth

The reality is, we don't actually see this on the headlines. Studies say that 200-2,000 animals go extinct every year but we barely hear about any of them. It's clear that more should be done to protect and preserve endangered animals because at this rate a lot of the species today won't be here in the future.

The Ecosystem

There are 44,838 animals on the endangered animals list, of that number 16, 306 are threatened with extinction, this is a sharp increase from last year. The food chain isn't the only biological system affected. Whenever a species is taken away from an ecosystem it affects the entire environment, for example when the gray wolf was reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park the elk population decreased, which had been over consuming the willows, aspen, and other trees that grew along streams. These trees were a cooling system for streams flows, which helps native trout and increases the number of birds nest. Beavers now have willow branches to eat, and beaver dams create marshland habitat for otters, mink, and ducks. Wolves even benefit the threatened grizzly bear, since grizzlies find it easier to take over a wolf kill than to bring down their own elk. All this because one species was saved.
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Many species are very atoned to pollution and help tell us how much pollution we are causing and what kind. For example, the bald eagle was decreasing in population because of a formally widespread chemical used in farming called DDT but farmers cut back on it because of the bald eagles' warning. Another example is the freshwater mussel which is very sensitive to water pollution and alerts us of water pollution. Without these species it would be harder to gauge how much pollution we are causing and how to stop it.
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A few hundred wild species have stocked our pharmacies with antibiotics, anti-cancer agents, pain killers, and blood thinners. Each time an endangered species goes extinct science suffers a great loss. Animals can be examined to create stronger materials and cure many diseases. The anti-cancer compound, taxol was extracted from a Pacific Yew tree and helps millions of women with ovary cancer each year. This could not have been achieved if this species went extinct. There are many species that could provide cures that have not yet been discovered but some scientists will never discover because they have gone extinct from things such as habitat loss.
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Endangered Species

There are many reasons why we should protect endangered species. Each species plays a specific and irreplaceable role in the ecosystem and if a species dies there is a negative domino affect on all the other species. Also, some species help warn us of pollution, providing a way to save many other species. Many species, not yet discovered, could provide medicine. Already, many of the medicine we have today was developed from plants, animals, etc. but as species go extinct we could be losing the chance to discover new cures that could heal more people. I think there should be more awareness for endangered animals and that more should be done to protect those that can't protect themselves.


"Total Number of Known Threatened Species: 16,938." Endangered Species International. Endangered Species International, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2015. <http://www.endangeredspeciesinternational.org/overview2.html>.

"Why Save Endangered Species." Science (1990): 20. Why Save Endangered Species. FWS.gov, 1990. Web. 13 Dec. 2015. <https://www.fws.gov/nativeamerican/pdf/why-save-endangered-species.pdf>.

"How Many Species Are We Losing?" WWF -. WWF Global, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2015.<http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/biodiversity/biodiversity/>