An endangered species is a population of organisms which is facing a high risk of becoming extinct because it is either few in numbers, or threatened by changing environmental or predation parameters. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has calculated the percentage of endangered species. Many nations have laws offering protection to conservation reliant species: for example, forbidding hunting, restricting land development or creating preserves. Only a few of the many species at risk of extinction actually make it to the lists and obtain legal protection like Pandas. Many more species become extinct, or potentially will become extinct, without gaining public notice.
Main article: Conservation status
The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that endangered species becoming extinct. Many factors are taken into account when assessing the conservation status of a species, including statistics such as the number remaining, the overall increase or decrease in the population over time, breeding success rates, known threats, and so on. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the best-known worldwide conservation status listing and ranking system. It has been estimated that over 40% of all living species on Earth are at risk of going extinct. Internationally, 199 countries have signed an accord agreeing to create Biodiversity Action Plans to protect endangered and other threatened species. In the United States this plan is usually called a species Recovery Plan. IUCN Red List
IUCN Red List refers to a specific category of threatened species, and may include critically endangered species. The IUCN Red List uses the term endangered species as a specific category of imperilment, rather than as a general term. Under the IUCN Categories and Criteria, endangered species is between critically endangered and vulnerable. Also critically endangered species may also be counted as endangered species and fill all the criteria The more general term used by the IUCN for species at risk of extinction is threatened species, which also includes the less-at-risk category of vulnerable species together with endangered and critically endangered. IUCN categories, and some animals in those categories, include: * Extinct: Examples: Atlas bear, Aurochs, Bali Tiger, Caribbean Monk Seal, Carolina Parakeet, Caspian Tiger, Dinosaurs, Dodo, Dusky Seaside Sparrow, Elephant Bird, Golden Toad, Great Auk, Haast's Eagle, Japanese Sea Lion, Javan Tiger, Moa, Passenger Pigeon, Pterosaurs, Saber-toothed cat, Short-faced bear, Steller's Sea Cow, Thylacine, Toolache Wallaby, Western Black Rhinoceros, Woolly Mammoth, Woolly Rhinoceros, Yangtze River Dolphin * Extinct in the wild: captive individuals survive, but there is no free-living, natural population. Examples: Barbary Lion (maybe extinct), Catarina Pupfish, Hawaiian Crow, Northern White Rhinoceros, Scimitar Oryx, Socorro Dove, Spix's Macaw (maybe critically endangered), Wyoming Toad * Critically endangered: faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the immediate future. Examples: Addax, African Wild Ass, Alabama Cavefish, Amur Leopard, Arakan Forest Turtle, Asiatic Cheetah, Axolotl, Bactrian Camel, Brazilian Merganser, Brown Spider Monkey, California Condor, Chinese Alligator, Chinese Giant Salamander, Ethiopian Wolf, Gharial, Hawaiian Monk Seal, Iberian Lynx, Island Fox, Javan Rhino, Kakapo, Leatherback Sea Turtle, Mediterranean Monk Seal, Mexican Wolf, Mountain Gorilla, Philippine Eagle, Red Wolf, Saiga, Siamese Crocodile, Spix's Macaw (maybe extinct in the wild), Sumatran Orangutan, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Takhi, Vaquita * Endangered: faces a very high risk of extinction in the near future. Examples: African Penguin, African Wild Dog, Asian Elephant, Asiatic Lion, Blue Whale, Bonobo, Bornean Orangutan, Chimpanzees, Dhole, Giant Otter, Giant Panda, Goliath Frog, Gorillas, Green Sea Turtle,...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document