Many Animals are Endangered

 

 

There are many endangered animals but here you can see the most well known. For a full list of endangered animals you can go to http://www.earthsendangered.com/.

 

African Elephant

African elephants once numbered in the millions across Africa, but by the mid-1980s their populations had been devastated by poaching. The status of the species now varies greatly across the continent. Some populations remain in danger due to poaching for meat and ivory, habitat loss and conflict with humans.

Elephants are important because their future is tied to much of Africa's rich biodiversity. Scientists consider African elephants to be keystone species as they help to maintain suitable habitats for many other species in savannah and forest ecosystems.

Elephants directly influence forest composition and density, and can alter the broader landscape. In tropical forests, elephants create clearings and gaps in the canopy that encourage tree regeneration. In the savannas, they can reduce bush cover to create an environment favourable to a mix of browsing and grazing animals.

Many plant species also have evolved seeds that are dependent on passing through an elephant's digestive tract before they can germinate; it is calculated that at least a third of tree species in west African forests rely on elephants in this way for distribution of their future generations.

African Rhino

Rhinos once roamed throughout Eurasia and Africa, and were known to early Europeans who depicted them in cave paintings. Within historical times, rhinos were still widespread in the African savannas and the tropical forests of Asia.

Today however, very few rhinos now survive outside national parks and reserves. There are five species of rhino, three species are found in Asia and two are found in Africa.

Javan, Sumatran and Indian rhinos are found in Asia. Both the Javan and Sumatran rhinos are listed on IUCN’s Red List as critically endangered and the Indian rhino is listed as endangered. There are two distinct subspecies of Javan rhino, one lives in Vietnam and the other on the Indonesian island of Java.

Black rhino and white rhino are found in Africa. There are two subspecies of white rhino, the southern white rhino is now most abundant rhino in the world and is listed as endangered. The northern white rhino is critically endangered. There are four subspecies of the critically endangered black rhino, eastern, southwestern, southern central and western. The western subspecies is thought to be extinct.

Giant Panda

The giant panda is the rarest member of the bear family and among the world’s most threatened animals.Today, the giant panda's future remains uncertain.

As China's economy continues rapidly developing, this bamboo-eating member of the bear family faces a number of threats. Its forest habitat, in the mountainous areas of southwest China, is increasingly fragmented by roads and railroads. Habitat loss continues to occur outside of protected areas, while poaching remains an ever-present threat.

Great strides have been made in recent years to conserve the giant pandas. By 2005, the Chinese government had established over 50 panda reserves, protecting more than 2.5 million acres - over 45 percent of remaining giant panda habitat – protecting more than 60 percent of the population.

In 1984, the giant panda was transferred from Appendix III to Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Trade in the species or its products are subject to strict regulation by the ratifying parties, and trade for primarily commercial purposes is banned.

Great Apes

The great apes belong to the taxonomic family Homindae, which includes chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, gorillas and humans. This group includes our closest wild relatives. In fact, all members of this family share possibly more than 97% of their DNA. The great apes have all been documented using tools, and communicating with amazing complexity. The great apes are found primarily in Central Africa with the exception of orangutans, which are native to the islands of Borneo and Sumatra in Asia. All of the great apes face serious threats and are all endangered, some critically endangered. Habitat loss, climate change, infectious disease and illegal hunting for both meat and the live pet trade have combined to push these species to the brink of extinction. If we don’t act soon, we will lose our closest relatives forever.