Endangered Animals

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Though the tiger is one of the most powerful mammals, it also faces the worst chances of being extinct. In fact, as many as three subspecies of tigers have become extinct in the last 30 years and there is danger of even more of the species becoming extinct. Recent estimates put the population of all tigers (including the ones in captivity) at somewhere between 5000-7500, with only about 3200 in the wild. At the beginning of the century, this number was closer to about 100,000. This shows how fast the population of tigers is diminishing, and if care is not taken, this majestic mammal will soon be extinct.

These beautiful giant pandas are noted for their black and white markings. Their legs, shoulders, ears and circular patches around their eyes are black; the remaining of the panda is white. Pandas usually try to escape predators by climbing trees, a skill at which they are very good. However, Pandas may also choose to swim away from predators. Pandas now live in a few very select parts of China where the bamboo, their favorite food, and evergreen trees are thick. Pandas once roamed large areas in China, but as the human population has increased, the area in which a panda can live has decreased. Pandas are very solitary animals, and do not venture into the areas where humans live . Pandas have become endangered for two main reasons. First, the area in which they can safely live has shrunk. Second, they are often hunted for their pelts, which can go for thousands of dollars on the black market.

The Amur leopard is a very rare leopard subspecies that lives only in the remote and snowy northern forests of eastern Russian’s Primorye region. Its former range included Korea and northern China, but the Amur leopard is now extinct in those countries. A 2007 census counted only 14-20 adult Amur leopards and 5-6 cubs. Threats facing the species include habitat loss due to logging, road building and encroaching civilization, poaching (illegal hunting) and global...
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