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Endangered Species 

An endangered species is a population of organisms which is at risk of becoming extinct because it is either few in numbers, or threatened by changing environmental or predation parameters.

In biology and ecology, extinction is the cessation of existence of a species or group of taxa, reducing biodiversity. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the last individual of that species.

More than 90 percent of all organisms that have ever lived on Earth are extinct. As new species evolve to fit ever changing ecological niches, older species fade away. But the rate of extinction is far from constant. At least a handful of times in the last 500 million years, 50 to more than 90 percent of all species on Earth have disappeared in a geological blink of the eye.


Species are classified in nine groups, set through criteria such as rate of decline, population size, area of geographic distribution, and degree of population and distribution fragmentation.

  • Extinct (EX) - No individuals remaining. 

  • Extinct in the Wild (EW) - Known only to survive in captivity, or as a naturalized population outside its historic range. 

  • Critically Endangered (CR) - Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. 

  • Endangered (EN) - High risk of extinction in the wild. 

  • Vulnerable (VU) - High risk of endangerment in the wild. 

  • Near Threatened (NT) - Likely to become endangered in the near future. 

  • Least Concern (LC) - Lowest risk. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category. 

  • Data Deficient (DD) - Not enough data to make an assessment of its risk of extinction. Not Evaluated

  • (NE) - Has not yet been evaluated against the criteria




African forest elephant

Amur Leopard

Panthera pardus orientalis

Black Rhino

Diceros bicornis

Bornean Orangutan

Pongo pygmaeus

Cross River Gorilla

Gorilla gorilla diehli

Eastern Lowland Gorilla

Gorilla beringei graueri

Hawksbill Turtle

Eretmochelys imbricata

Javan Rhino

Rhinoceros sondaicus


Pongo abelii, Pongo pygmaeus


Pseudoryx nghetinhensis

Sumatran Elephant

Elephas maximus sumatranus

Sumatran Orangutan

Pongo abelii

Sumatran Rhino

Dicerorhinus sumatrensis

Sunda Tiger

Panthera tigris sondaica


Phocoena sinus

Western Lowland Gorilla

Gorilla gorilla gorilla

Yangtze Finless Porpoise

Neophocaena asiaeorientalis ssp. asiaeorientalis

African savanna elephant

Loxodonta africana africana

African Wild Dog

Lycaon pictus

Asian Elephant

Elephas maximus indicus

Black-footed Ferret

Mustela nigripes

Blue Whale

Balaenoptera musculus

Bluefin Tuna

Thunnus Thynnus


Pan paniscus

Bornean Elephant

Elephas maximus borneensis


Pan troglodytes

Fin Whale

Balaenoptera physalus

Galápagos Penguin

Spheniscus mendiculus

Ganges River Dolphin

Platanista gangetica gangetica

Green Turtle

Chelonia mydas

Hector's Dolphin

Cephalorhynchus hectori

Humphead Wrasse

Cheilinus undulatus

  Credit-World Wildlife Fund

Many species are being put at risk of extinction on a daily basis

 The threats to wildlife are:   

Poaching- Many animals are hunted and killed for their body parts to be used for ornamental decoration as well as in superstitious potions. Currently, the demand for animal parts is centered in several parts of Asia where there is a strong market for traditional medicines made from items like tiger bone and rhino horn. Many animals are also killed for food ,this is referred to as bushmeat.


Habitat Destruction- More and more land  is being claimed  by Man for his own ends. Centuries may be required to bring back a forest that was cut down or burnt out in the space of a few years. Many of the world's severely threatened animals and plants live in such forests, and it is certain that huge numbers of them will disappear if present rates of forest loss continue.


Pollution-Chemicals and toxins that Man is releasing into the air and water causes an imbalance in ecosystems. Contamination of air, water, or soil by the discharge of harmful substances contribute to species extinction.


Climate Change- The change in temperature and climate is affecting species that dwell on land as well as the ocean. Concern is growing that atmospheric changes could bring on rapid, profound climatic changes. A slight rise in maximum water temperatures - only one to two degrees can cause coral bleaching.


Introduction of Exotic Species-Species that "belong" to an area are said to be native species. Exotic Species are interlopers, foreign elements introduced intentionally or accidentally into new settings through human activities. Exotics may seriously disrupt delicate ecological balances and create a cascade of unintended consequences.


Chimpanzee shaking his head
Chimpanzees just don't understand how humans can be so careless

To Find Out More about Endangered Species Visit The Organizations Below