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Why do animals become extinct?
When there are no more animals of a particular
species left alive, that species is said to be
In the distant past, several species of animals
became extinct through natural causes.
But ever since human beings have been on Earth,
animal species have become extinct because of
hunting, pollution, or the destruction of the places
where they live.
How many species of animals
are there?
The answer to this question is - nobody knows!
Scientists who study animal life have recorded
20,000 species of fish, 6,000 species of reptiles,
9,000 birds, 1,000 amphibians, and 15,000
species of mammals. And, although there are a
million named species of insects, scientists
estimate that there could be another million
waiting to be discovered and named!
Man is wiping out species so fast that children
today will never have the opportunity of seeing
many of those that are still living as they read
this book. By the time they are grown up, many
more species will be extinct.
The destruction of the Amazon rain forests, for
instance, which is taking place now, will wipe out
thousands of species of animal life that man has
not yet even identified
Lynx pardinus Iberian Lynx
The Iberian lynx is a
critically endangered
species. It is the
world's most
threatened species of
cat, and the most
threatened carnivore
in Europe
Guand Pandas
An estimated seven hundred
Giant Pandas are left in the
world today, living in the high
mountains in coniferous forests
and bamboo thickets in central
China. The Giant Pandas
primary food source is bamboo.
Giant Pandas live up to an age
of 15 years in captivity and
when one gives birth only one
baby is born.
Malayan Tapir( Tapirus indicus)
Tapirs are easy prey as they
do not run fast and do not
have special defences,
therefore easily become
victims to carnivorous
animals and hunters. Their
habitat, the rain forests are
also depleting quickly
destroyed by human
activities, leading even more
to their decline.
Leatherback Turtles
Dermochelys coriacea
Leatherback Turtles are found
in most warm seas, often
migrating from one continent to
another. They are the largest
of all turtles, sometimes
weighing more than 1500pounds.
These turtles have huge
strong front flippers which can
propel them in the water at
high speeds.
Dama Gazelle
At the moment there are
between 50 and 100 gazzeles
left.They are found in Africa
and in Mongolia in Asia.
These graceful animals are
endangered due the poaching
for their skins and horns.
Their habitats are also being
destroyed by human
development such as farming
and cattling. Conservation
efforts has helped a bit in
their increase.
(Panthera tigris sumatrae)
There are now fewer than
five thousand tigers left in
the world.Despite all of the
hardships and disasters that
this animal has endured, the
tiger population has actually
risen over the last ten years.
This has only been possible
through strict laws protecting
these magnificent animals and
wilderness preserves around the
Raflesia arnoldi
Several species Of Rafflesia
grow in the jungles of
southeast Asia, Many of
them are threatened or
endangered. How many of
these plants still survive is
unknown, but as the
remaining primary forests
of Borneo and Sumatra
disappear, it can only be
assumed that their numbers
are decreasing.
Welwitshia mirabilis
Although considered
endangered due to its
very slow growth and
despite the fact that
older plants are often
sought by collectors, a
fair number of plants
exist in the wild.
Dendroseris Neriifolia
It has been described as the
world's rarest plant: only one
specimen is known to exist in
the wild, although there exist
other human-cultivated
Specimens. It is classified as
critically endangered.
What You Can Do ?
Luckily, there is still hope. You can help
to keep these creatures alive and protect them
from being endangered.
1. Try not to waste natural resources. Recycle, if
you can, your garbage. By recycling, you're helping
to save many trees from being cut down for paper.
These trees then can remain homes for many
animals and plants in the wild.
Don't pollute the environment. Keep your
neighborhood clean. This can prevent any
accidental death of animals or plants.
3. Don't
buy anything like leather belt, fur coat,
or any other products that come from animals. By
buying these products you are supporting the
hunters, manufacturers, and the idea of killing
animals so you can look pretty.
4. If you can, contribute to organizations that help
to protect wildlife. This is very important. With
your contributions conservationists can get the
necessary equipment and things to help save these
animals and plants.
5. Learn about these creatures. Get to know them
better and create an interest in them because
they are so wonderful. Not only get to know them,
but get involved to save them. With your help,
these creatures don't have to become endangered,
or even extinct.
The pictures and the information are taken from
This project has been funded with support
from the European Commission.
This publication reflects the views only of the
author, and the Commission cannot be held
responsible for any use which may be made
of the information contained therein.