Endangered Animals

ENDANGERED ANIMALS AND HOW WE CAN HELP!

by Michael

Do you know how many animals are endangered?  According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 40% of all organisms are endangered!  An endangered animal is an organism that is in danger of becoming extinct.

One of these is the black rhino, which is being killed to make daggers from its horns.  It hunts at night and sleeps in the day, making it easy for poachers to catch and kill it.

Human predation is not the only reason that animals can become endangered.  When humans cut down trees and pollute with industry and vehicles, this can cause loss of wildlife habitat, pollution and climate change.  Loss of habitat can cause genetic isolation, as in the case of the cheetah and the Florida panther, which have then experienced genetic mutations because of inbreeding.  So their fertility is decreased, which has made their populations drop.

Other endangered animals are the black-footed ferret, of which there are only 1000 remaining in the wild, the blue whale, the pygmy hippopotamus, the volcano rabbit and the snow leopard.

There are many ways to save these animals.  One way is to reduce poaching by tracking poachers using human DNA isolated from the animal parts of poached carcasses.  Some more ways are habitat protection and captive breeding programs, which are programs that take in animals for breeding because the populations in their wild habitats have dropped so low, like in the case of the black rhino and the giant panda.

If I were a scientist, I would breed animals in captivity and I would also make sure they could be released into the wild.

References:

http://nationalzoo.si.edu/scbi/EndangeredSpecies/default.cfm
http://nationalzoo.si.edu/SCBI/EndangeredSpecies/CapBreedPops/default.cfm
http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2011/09/23/black-footed-ferret-the-comeback-kid-celebrates-30-years-of-rediscovery/
http://www.globio.org/glossopedia/article.aspx?art_id
http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/2008/03/animal-csi-or-from-science-lab-to-crime-lab-2/
 
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Posted December 13, 2011 by sciencesavestheworld