Animal species

Earth Platform > Animals

Endangered species

endangered speciesMany animal species are threatened with extinction. Elephants, whales, gorillas, leopards, seabirds and many other species are in acute danger. Find out more about these beautiful animals, find out how they are being threatened and whether there's still a chance for them to survive...



Why we should save animal species

endangered animalsThere are many reasons why we should actively protect endangered species. Animals can play an important role in maintaining healthy ecosystems. The northern spotted owl, for example, is a good indicator of the declining health of ancient forests of the Pacific Northwest. Another result is that contributing money to various wild species also generates  income for local and regional communities. Commercial and recreational salmon fishing in the Pacific Northwest, for instance, provides about 60,000 jobs. Animal species can be an important aspect of regional tourism. Each year millions of people participate in wildlife-related recreation, including observing and feeding wildlife, or photo-safaris.


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Ongoing habitat destruction is a major threat to terrestrial animals.
Sea life is threatened by mankind as well. Overfishing, industrial activities and pollution all take a heavy toll on the animals in our oceans.
Pollution and habitat destruction are a big threats to birds. Many birds die of oil pollution every year. Habitats are destructed, breeding places disappear.

Causes of endangerment

extinctionDifferent developments endanger the lives of animals these days,  a quickly changing and diminishing natural habitat being a main cause. These changes can either have natural causes, or are driven by ever expanding activities of fellow human beings. Our planet's natural changes appear quite slowly, but when it comes to changes caused by humans, many habitats experience rapid change over a relatively short period of time. This generally means there’s too little, and often no time at all left for the animals to react and adept to their new environmental circumstances. Humans even destroy entire wildlife habitats within years, leaving no space for local animals to survive at all. Pollution is another factor that threatens various animal species.

Additionally, the introduction of exotic species can become a huge risk when introduced without safeguarding measures. Exotic animal species are the opposite of native species, which are part of a specific geographic area and have originally been part of that particular biological landscape since a long time.  Exotic species are external animal species, introduced into that new environment by humans. These exotic species can seriously disrupt ecological balances and may cause disease and other harmful consequences. When humans introduced certain insects, rats, cats and other foreign species to newly discovered lands, hundreds of native species have been endangered or totally extinguished. Often as a result of greater competition for food, spreading deadly disease, or sheer survival of the fittest. overexploitationOverexploitation and poaching is another danger to certain species, driving them to extinction. There’s a lot of exploitation when it comes to trading in precious animal parts. Examples are the illegal trade in tiger bones, elephant ivory, rhino horns or shark fins.

Have you ever bought any illegal animal products?