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10 species on the brink of extinction endangered species animals

ALAIN COMPOST / PETER ARNOLD / BIOSPHOTO

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1)Javan Rhinoceros

Indonesia and Vietnam

Number remaining: fewer than 60

Perhaps the planet's rarest large mammal. Its horn is prized by poachers, and its forests are prized by
developers. Both could spell doom for the species.

2)Sumatran Tiger

Sumatra, in Indonesia

Number remaining: fewer than 600

This small tiger has lived only in Sumatra for a million years, making it hard to escape human expansion.
Most survivors dwell in reserves, but about 100 live beyond the borders of the protected areas.

CAUSES OF EXTINXTIONS

Causes of extinction have prehistorically been dominated by natural earth processes such as geological
transformation of the Earth's crust and major climatic oscillations, as well as species interactions;
however, since the ascent of modern man during the Holocene, the causes of extinction have been
dominated by the activities of humans. Rates of species extinction have increased rapidly since the early
Holocene epoch, chiefly due to activities of humans; further acceleration of extinction rates began
approximately 1600 AD, with the onset of accelerated human population growth and expanded scope of
agriculture. Natural causes of extinction are regarded as being an irrelevantly small fraction of present
extinction events, but are important to understand for historical and academic context. Darwin was the
first to fully articulate the concepts of speciation and extinction as applied to natural succession,
although he never used the terms evolution or extinction. (Darwin. 1859) The primary cause of human-
induced extinction events is simply human overpopulation of planet Earth. The most important causal
anthropogenic activities are habitat destruction, overexploitation, pollution and the introduction of alien
species to an environment. Habitat destruction elements include agricultural land conversion,
deforestation, overgrazing and urbanization; within these activities the process of habitat fragmentation
is a sometimes hidden cause of major biodiversity loss. Overexploitation consists of intensive mineral
and other geological resource extraction, overharvesting of wild flora and fauna (mainly for human
food), hunting or fishing threatened fauna and killing of threatened fauna for herbal or cultural extracts.
Pollution impacts include buildup of toxic atmospheric substances, discharge of water pollutants into
natural water reserves, chemical contamination of soils and noise pollution. Introduction of alien species
is usually an unintended activity where seeds, stowaway fauna aboard ships and other viably
reproducing biota are transported by man to a new environment which has insufficient resident
predators (or predators unfamiliar with, and therefore naive to the new prey) to control the invading
taxon, or exotic predators inadvertently (or intentionally) introduced to a new region, where the native
fauna are often unable to recognise the invading organism as a threat.

What We Do to Protect Endangered Species

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America harbors a remarkable array of plant and animal species, ranging from majestic mammals like
bison and grizzly bears to tiny desert wildflowers.

Unfortunately, many of our species have not fared well over the past few decades suffering from
things such as habitat loss and the spread of invasive species.
Scientists estimate that up to one-third of U.S. species are at increased risk of extinction, and more
than 1,300 U.S. plants and animals already have been federally listed as threatened or
endangered and protected under the Endangered Species Act.

National Wildlife Federation has long has been focused on protecting the most vulnerable of our wild
species.

Our Approach to Endangered Species Protection


Includes:
 Defending and strengthening the Endangered Species Act, which provides an essential legal
safety net to prevent the loss of plant and animal species to extinction.
 Holding federal agencies and others accountable for complying with laws protecting rare and
endangered species using cooperation, persuasion, and--where necessary--litigation.
 Advocating for increased funding for private landowner incentives and other conservation
programs that benefit endangered species.
 Protecting and restoring the habitats on which endangered species and other wildlife depend for
their survival, and encouraging wildlife-friendly land management practices.
 Reducing threats to wildlife that can lead to their endangerment and extinction, such as loss of
habitat, contamination of water and spread of invasive species.

State Wildlife Action Plans


One of the best ways to protect endangered species is to prevent their decline and deterioration in the
first place. Toward that end, National Wildlife Federation works to maintain healthy populations of fish,
wildlife, and plant species through promoting broad-based conservation efforts such as State Wildlife
Action Plans.
Global Warming
Global warming is making the protection of endangered species increasingly challenging. Climate
change not only affects our plants and animals directly--through changes in temperature and
precipitation for instance--but can worsen the impact on endangered species of traditional threats,
such as invasive species, wildfires and diseases.
National Wildlife Federation is playing a leadership role in identifying and promoting innovative
approaches to safeguard endangered species and other wildlife in the face of a changing climate.

Efforts to save these Animals


There are many things being done to save the endangered animals from becoming
extinct. Scientists study the animals and try to determine where they could be moved
or protected. Many breeding programs have been established to grow the population of
a species.

Tougher anti-poaching laws and patrols are helping to protect some


animals. Unfortunately, with everything that humans try to do that is good, there are
unintended consequences that are not always helpful. Also, various governments are
not very cooperative with outsiders making recommendations about managing their
land and their animals.

What are the possible Consequences?


There are many consequences if these animals in danger of extinction become extinct.
Of course, the loss of their beauty is very important. But beyond beauty, each of these
species is part of a whole system. If one part of the system is removed the system is no
longer in balance and the stage is set for something else to happen in that area. This
can have major effects when all the functions of an eco-system are examined. For
example, what happens if a pollinator becomes extinct? What happens to the prey if
a predator becomes extinct?

What happens to a predator if all the prey becomes extinct? With one species gone, the
eco-system must find a new balance and repair itself, or others species will fail as well.

What Needs to be Done?


There are many things that can be done to help these species, and all the others so
they aren’t facing total extinction. Learn about these species and understand why they
are important in their environment. Education is very important. Understanding how
humans can live in harmony with all things on Earth is key. Humans are animals too; if
the animals are in trouble and dying, what will happen to us?