The list of endangered animals keeps on growing. This is due to natural factors – such as the changes in temperature, global warming – but mostly due to the factor that practically consists of humans. Because of dreaded acts, such as hunting and poaching, some of the most beautiful and interesting animals in our world have become extinct.
With the following ten facts about endangered species, it is hoped that awareness is raised so we’d know how to protect our beautiful world.
Threatened, endangered, and extinct
Before we fully dive into the facts about endangered animals, you should know that when it comes to deciding which species are in more danger than another, the scientists use a rating system by which they declare if a certain animal is threatened, endangered or extinct.
This makes up an efficient list that can be easily tracked by all of those that wish to protect any or specific endangered animals.
You can adopt them to save them
Naturally, one could adopt a certain endangered animal in order to save it from the dangers it is exposed in the big world. Still, you should be very careful if you decide to do so, as only certain animals can survive in captivity.
For example, the Barbary lion is one of those animals that can be held captive and survive. But you may face some problems if you decide to adopt this animal. One of them is that your usual cat food won’t be enough to keep up with the diet of this lion – and not even dog food in case you’re thinking about adding that.
Therefore, in case you want to adopt a more exotic and fierce endangered animal, you have to remember that you must follow its diet, and not the other way around, so it can be safe and healthy.
The Angel Shark
Despite its name, which should send some signs to those that put this species in danger, it was a great source of income for fishermen.
Deemed as a delicacy, the Angel Shark was not put on the endangered list because of the fishermen that were selectively fishing only this kind of species. Instead, the fishing industry, that catches and kills all of the fish in a certain area, has managed to reduce the numbers of this flat shark.
The Jamaican Iguana
This endangered animal comes with an interesting story. The island of Jamaica has had, for many years, problems with the snakes that inhabited it. Therefore, as a solution, it introduced the mongoose inside its ecosystem.
However, this made things worse for the beautiful – and sometimes scary – Jamaican Iguana. Instead of focusing on the snakes whose number they were supposed to reduce, the mongoose is killing off and eating the iguana.
The Javan Rhino
It is not only about this species of Rhino, it’s about all of them. You’ve probably heard updates on the news about the last White Rhino in Africa that is protected even more than the President.
That’s because of the hunters and poachers that killed off this massive yet beautiful animal. First, it was because their horns were thought to have magical properties and might help those in need. Now, because we’ve all learned that the rhino horn is made out of keratin and might be beneficial to one’s body, it is sold on the black market and valued as much as gold it.
If you have visited Madagascar recently, you have surely noticed that its beauty can’t quite be compared to any other place in the world. Still, there were times when it had many other things and sights to offer. Over the past 15 years, all of the three species of the hippopotamus that used to inhabit Madagascar have been declared extinct.
Lemurs, leopards, and mountain gorillas seem to be headed in the same direction as their numbers are decreasing – lemurs also being the most endangered animal on Earth, with 94% of all species of lemur being either endangered or critically endangered.
The Coelacanth – it came back from extinction
Another interesting story within these ten facts about endangered animals tells the story of the Coelacanth. It is a species of fish that is closely related to mammals, lungfish, and reptiles.
However, this is not the interesting bit. Some time ago – as in before 1938 – they were deemed as extinct since the Late Cretaceous period, which means 66 million years ago. That was until a fisherman caught one Coelacanth on the South African coast in 1938. Rediscovered, this species is still one of the most endangered in the world.
Helping the Flagship Species of Animals
Most of the times, we pay attention to reports of endangered animals that tell only about the species that we find interesting, cute, and beautiful. Among these are the fluffy pandas, the fierce tigers, and the beautifully colored butterflies.
Your eyes have probably already smiled with the mentioning of fluffy pandas, right? It’s not a shame if we choose to help and support the saving of only these species. It is because these are flagship species. They are basically species that are used by an organization in order to raise awareness about a certain animal – and one that people like. By helping one of these species, the entire ecosystem they live in will also benefit from this – therefore we can save many by aiding just one species.
The Mojave Desert Tortoise
This tortoise that inhabits the US Mojave Desert is still on the endangered animals list. However, if it was not for the amazing funding that has been put into saving it – it would have probably been extinct by now.
And to see how much some people really care about wildlife and about nature in general, the mentioned funding is represented by the sum of 227 million dollars, rounded up since 1990.
Save the Bees!
You might think that the common bee is out there in great numbers and doesn’t need any protection. However, there are seven species of bees that can be found in Hawaii that have been added to the endangered species list – and there are also rumors that bees, in general, are having some trouble to keep their numbers up.
But why save them, you might ask – because most of the food we eat is entirely pollinated by bees, and this results in better, healthier food for our organism. While tiny, they do a lot, and we should try and prevent their extinction as we try with other endangered species.