An endangered species is a species which has been categorized as very likely to become extinct. Endangered (EN), as categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, is the second most severe conservation status for wild populations in the IUCN's schema after Critically Endangered (CR).
Many nations have laws that protect conservation-reliant species: for example, forbidding hunting, restricting land development or creating preserves. Population numbers, trends and species' conservation status can be found at the lists of organisms by population.
The conservation status of a species indicates the likelihood that it will become extinct. Many factors are considered when assessing the status of a species; e.g., such statistics as the number remaining, the overall increase or decrease in the population over time, breeding success rates, or known threats. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the best-known worldwide conservation status listing and ranking system.
Over 50% of the world's species are estimated to be at risk of extinction. Internationally, 199 countries have signed an accord to create Biodiversity Action Plans that will protect endangered and other threatened species. In the United States, such plans are usually called Species Recovery Plans.
Though labelled a list, the IUCN Red List is a system of assessing the global conservation status of species that includes "Data Deficient" (DD) species – species for which more data and assessment is required before their status may be determined – as well species comprehensively assessed by the IUCN's species assessment process. Those species of "Near Threatened" (NT) and "Least Concern" (LC) status have been assessed and found to have relatively robust and healthy populations, though these may be in decline. Unlike their more general use elsewhere, the List uses the terms "endangered species" and "threatened species" with particular meanings: "Endangered" (EN) species lie between "Vulnerable" (VU) and "Critically Endangered" (CR) species, while "Threatened" species are those species determined to be Vulnerable, Endangered or Critically Endangered.
The IUCN categories, with examples of animals classified by them, include:
A) Reduction in population size based on any of the following:
B) Geographic range in the form of either B1 (extent of occurrence) OR B2 (area of occupancy) OR both:
C) Population estimated to number fewer than 2,500 mature individuals and either:
D) Population size estimated to number fewer than 250 mature individuals.
E) Quantitative analysis showing the probability of extinction in the wild is at least 20% within 20 years or five generations, whichever is the longer (up to a maximum of 100 years).
There is data from the United States that shows a correlation between human populations and threatened and endangered species. Using species data from the Database on the Economics and Management of Endangered Species (DEMES) database and the period that the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has been in existence, 1970 to 1997, a table was created that suggests a positive relationship between human activity and species endangerment.
Under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 in the United States, species may be listed as "endangered" or "threatened". The Salt Creek tiger beetle (Cicindela nevadica lincolniana) is an example of an endangered subspecies protected under the ESA. The US Fish and Wildlife Service as well as the National Marine Fisheries Service are held responsible for classifying and protecting endangered species, and adding a particular species to the list can be a long, controversial process (Wilcove & Master, 2008, p. 414).
Some endangered species laws are controversial. Typical areas of controversy include: criteria for placing a species on the endangered species list and criteria for removing a species from the list once its population has recovered; whether restrictions on land development constitute a "taking" of land by the government; the related question of whether private landowners should be compensated for the loss of uses of their lands; and obtaining reasonable exceptions to protection laws. Also lobbying from hunters and various industries like the petroleum industry, construction industry, and logging, has been an obstacle in establishing endangered species laws.
The Bush administration lifted a policy that required federal officials to consult a wildlife expert before taking actions that could damage endangered species. Under the Obama administration, this policy has been reinstated.
Being listed as an endangered species can have negative effect since it could make a species more desirable for collectors and poachers. This effect is potentially reducible, such as in China where commercially farmed turtles may be reducing some of the pressure to poach endangered species.
Another problem with the listing species is its effect of inciting the use of the "shoot, shovel, and shut-up" method of clearing endangered species from an area of land. Some landowners currently may perceive a diminution in value for their land after finding an endangered animal on it. They have allegedly opted to silently kill and bury the animals or destroy habitat, thus removing the problem from their land, but at the same time further reducing the population of an endangered species. The effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act – which coined the term "endangered species" – has been questioned by business advocacy groups and their publications but is nevertheless widely recognized by wildlife scientists who work with the species as an effective recovery tool. Nineteen species have been delisted and recovered and 93% of listed species in the northeastern United States have a recovering or stable population.
Currently, 1,556 known species in the world have been identified as near extinction or endangered and are under protection by government law. This approximation, however, does not take into consideration the number of species threatened with endangerment that are not included under the protection of such laws as the Endangered Species Act. According to NatureServe's global conservation status, approximately thirteen percent of vertebrates (excluding marine fish), seventeen percent of vascular plants, and six to eighteen percent of fungi are considered imperiled.:415 Thus, in total, between seven and eighteen percent of the United States' known animals, fungi and plants are near extinction.:416 This total is substantially more than the number of species protected in the United States under the Endangered Species Act.
Ever since mankind began hunting to preserve itself, over-hunting and fishing has been a large and dangerous problem. Of all the species who became extinct due to interference from mankind, the dodo, passenger pigeon, great auk, Tasmanian tiger and Steller's sea cow are some of the more well known examples; with the bald eagle, grizzly bear, American bison, Eastern timber wolf and sea turtle having been hunted to near-extinction. Many began as food sources seen as necessary for survival but became the target of sport. However, due to major efforts to prevent extinction, the bald eagle, or Haliaeetus leucocephalus is now under the category of Least Concern on the red list. A present-day example of the over-hunting of a species can be seen in the oceans as populations of certain whales have been greatly reduced. Large whales like the blue whale, bowhead whale, finback whale, gray whale, sperm whale and humpback whale are some of the eight whales which are currently still included on the Endangered Species List. Actions have been taken to attempt reduction in whaling and increase population sizes, including prohibiting all whaling in United States waters, the formation of the CITES treaty which protects all whales, along with the formation of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). But even though all of these movements have been put in place, countries such as Japan continue to hunt and harvest whales under the claim of "scientific purposes". Over-hunting, climatic change and habitat loss leads in landing species in endangered species list and could mean that extinction rates could increase to a large extent in the future.
The introduction of non-indigenous species to an area can disrupt the ecosystem to such an extent that native species become endangered. Such introductions may be termed alien or invasive species. In some cases the invasive species compete with the native species for food or prey on the natives. In other cases a stable ecological balance may be upset by predation or other causes leading to unexpected species decline. New species may also carry diseases to which the native species have no resistance.
Captive breeding is the process of breeding rare or endangered species in human controlled environments with restricted settings, such as wildlife reserves, zoos and other conservation facilities. Captive breeding is meant to save species from extinction and so stabilize the population of the species that it will not disappear.
This technique has worked for many species for some time, with probably the oldest known such instances of captive mating being attributed to menageries of European and Asian rulers, an example being the Père David's deer. However, captive breeding techniques are usually difficult to implement for such highly mobile species as some migratory birds (e.g. cranes) and fishes (e.g. hilsa). Additionally, if the captive breeding population is too small, then inbreeding may occur due to a reduced gene pool and reduce immunity.
In 1981, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) created a Species Survival Plan (SSP) in order to help preserve specific endangered and threatened species through captive breeding. With over 450 SSP Plans, there are a number of endangered species that are covered by the AZA with plans to cover population management goals and recommendations for breeding for a diverse and healthy population, created by Taxon Advisory Groups. These programs are commonly created as a last resort effort. SSP Programs regularly participate in species recovery, veterinary care for wildlife disease outbreaks, and a number of other wildlife conservation efforts. The AZA's Species Survival Plan also has breeding and transfer programs, both within and outside of AZA - certified zoos and aquariums. Some animals that are part of SSP programs are giant pandas, lowland gorillas, and California condors.
Whereas poaching substantially reduces endangered animal populations, legal, for-profit, private farming does the opposite. It has substantially increased the populations of the southern black rhinoceros and southern white rhinoceros. Dr Richard Emslie, a scientific officer at the IUCN, said of such programs, "Effective law enforcement has become much easier now that the animals are largely privately owned... We have been able to bring local communities into the conservation programmes. There are increasingly strong economic incentives attached to looking after rhinos rather than simply poaching: from Eco-tourism or selling them on for a profit. So many owners are keeping them secure. The private sector has been key to helping our work."
Conservation experts view the effect of China's turtle farming on the wild turtle populations of China and South-Eastern Asia – many of which are endangered – as "poorly understood". Although they commend the gradual replacement of turtles caught wild with farm-raised turtles in the marketplace – the percentage of farm-raised individuals in the "visible" trade grew from around 30% in 2000 to around 70% in 2007 – they worry that many wild animals are caught to provide farmers with breeding stock. The conservation expert Peter Paul van Dijk noted that turtle farmers often believe that animals caught wild are superior breeding stock. Turtle farmers may, therefore, seek and catch the last remaining wild specimens of some endangered turtle species.
CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as the Washington Convention) is a multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals. It was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The convention was opened for signature in 1973 and CITES entered into force on 1 July 1975. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species in the wild, and it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 35,000 species of animals and plants. In order to ensure that the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was not violated, the Secretariat of GATT was consulted during the drafting process.As of 2018, Secretary-General of the CITES Secretariat is Ivonne Higuero.Conservation status
The conservation status of a group of organisms (for instance, a species) indicates whether the group still exists and how likely the group is to become extinct in the near future. Many factors are taken into account when assessing conservation status: not simply the number of individuals remaining, but the overall increase or decrease in the population over time, breeding success rates, and known threats. Various systems of conservation status exist and are in use at international, multi-country, national and local levels as well as for consumer use.Critically endangered
A critically endangered (CR) species is one that has been categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.As of 2014, there are 2,464 animal and 2,104 plant species with this assessment.As the IUCN Red List does not consider a species extinct until extensive, targeted surveys have been conducted, species that are possibly extinct are still listed as critically endangered. IUCN maintains a list of "possibly extinct" CR(PE) and "possibly extinct in the wild" CR(PEW) species, modelled on categories used by BirdLife International to categorize these taxa.Endangered Species (TV series)
Endangered Species is a Canadian animated series produced by Nerd Corps Entertainment. The series premiered March 3, 2015 on Teletoon, In the UK, it airs on CBBC, premiering on July 13, 2015.Endangered Species Act of 1973
The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA; 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq.) is one of the few dozens of US environmental laws passed in the 1970s, and serves as the enacting legislation to carry out the provisions outlined in The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as a "consequence of economic growth and development untempered by adequate concern and conservation", the ESA was signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 28, 1973. The U.S. Supreme Court found that "the plain intent of Congress in enacting" the ESA "was to halt and reverse the trend toward species extinction, whatever the cost." The Act is administered by two federal agencies, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).Environmental issues in Brazil
Environmental issues in Brazil include deforestation, illegal wildlife trade, illegal poaching, air, land degradation, and water pollution caused by mining activities, wetland degradation, and severe oil spills.
among others. As the home to approximately 13% of all known species, Brazil has one of the most diverse collections of flora and fauna on the planet. Impacts from agriculture and industrialization in the country threaten this biodiversity.As a developing or newly industrialized nation, Brazil is notable for taking a lead in environmentally friendly initiatives. In the field of biofuels, Brazil is the second-largest producer of ethanol in the world. It is also home to two sustainable cities. Nevertheless, environmental issues remain a major concern in Brazil.Hawaiian hoary bat
The Hawaiian hoary bat or ʻōpeʻapeʻa (Aeorestes semotus) is an endangered species of the hoary bat (family Vespertilionidae) that is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. The Hawaiian hoary bat is one of two species of mammal that are endemic to the islands, the other being the Hawaiian monk seal. It is a federally listed endangered taxon of the United States.Hawaiian monk seal
The Hawaiian monk seal, Neomonachus schauinslandi (formerly Monachus schauinslandi), is an endangered species of earless seal in the family Phocidae that is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands.The Hawaiian monk seal is one of two remaining monk seal species; the other is the Mediterranean monk seal. A third species, the Caribbean monk seal, is extinct.The Hawaiian monk seal is the only seal native to Hawaii, and, along with the Hawaiian hoary bat, is one of only two mammals endemic to the islands.These monk seals are a conservation reliant endangered species. The small population of about 1,400 individuals is threatened by human encroachment, very low levels of genetic variation, entanglement in fishing nets, marine debris, disease, and past commercial hunting for skins. There are many methods of conservation biology when it comes to endangered species; translocation, captive care, habitat cleanup, and educating the public about the Hawaiian monk seal are some of the methods that can be employed.Helianthus
Helianthus or sunflower () is a genus of plants comprising about 70 species. Except for three species in South America, all Helianthus species are native to North America. The common name, "sunflower", typically refers to the popular annual species Helianthus annuus, or the common sunflower, whose round flower heads in combination with the ligules look like the sun. This and other species, notably Jerusalem artichoke (H. tuberosus), are cultivated in temperate regions and some tropical regions as food crops for humans, cattle, and poultry, and as ornamental plants.Perennial sunflower species are not as common in garden use due to their tendency to spread rapidly and become invasive. The whorled sunflower, H. verticillatus, was listed as an endangered species in 2014 when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a final rule protecting it under the Endangered Species Act. The primary threats are industrial forestry and pine plantations in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. They grow to 1.8 m (6 ft) and are primarily found in woodlands, adjacent to creeks and moist, prairie-like areas.IUCN Red List
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List or Red Data List), founded in 1965, has evolved to become the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. It uses a set of criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of thousands of species and subspecies. These criteria are relevant to all species and all regions of the world, With its strong scientific base, the IUCN Red List is recognized as the most authoritative guide to the status of biological diversity. A series of Regional Red List are produced by countries or organizations, which assess the risk of extinction to species within a political management unit.
The IUCN Red List is set upon precise criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of thousands of species and subspecies. These criteria are relevant to all species and all regions of the world. The aim is to convey the urgency of conservation issues to the public and policy makers, as well as help the international community to try to reduce species extinction. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) (1996), the formally stated goals of the Red List are (1) to provide scientifically based information on the status of species and subspecies at a global level, (2) to draw attention to the magnitude and importance of threatened biodiversity, (3) to influence national and international policy and decision-making, and (4) to provide information to guide actions to conserve biological diversity.Major species assessors include BirdLife International, the Institute of Zoology (the research division of the Zoological Society of London), the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, and many Specialist Groups within the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC). Collectively, assessments by these organizations and groups account for nearly half the species on the Red List.
The IUCN aims to have the category of every species re-evaluated every five years if possible, or at least every ten years. This is done in a peer reviewed manner through IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Specialist Groups, which are Red List Authorities responsible for a species, group of species or specific geographic area, or in the case of BirdLife International, an entire class (Aves).As of 2018, 26,197 species are now classified as vulnerable, critical or endangered.Kauaʻi ʻakialoa
The Kauaʻi ʻakialoa (Akialoa stejnegeri) was a Hawaiian honeycreeper in the subfamily Carduelinae of the family Fringillidae. It was endemic to the island of Kauai, Hawaii. It became extinct due to introduced avian disease and habitat loss. The Kauaʻi ʻakialoa was about seven and a half inches in length and had a very long downcurved bill, which covered one third of its length. The adult males were bright olive-yellow on top and yellow on the bottom. The throat, breast, and sides of the body were olive-yellow. The females, however, were green-gray above and had a shorter bill.List of endangered animals in India
According to the Red Data List of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), there are 48 critically endangered
plant species in India (as of 5 September 2011).The Red List of 2012 was released at the Rio+20 Earth Summit . It contains 132 species of plants and animals in India listed as critically endangered.Lists of IUCN Red List critically endangered species
Version 2014.2 of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species identified 4574 Critically Endangered species, subspecies and varieties, stocks and subpopulations.
For IUCN lists of critically endangered species by kingdom, see:
Animals (kingdom Animalia) — IUCN Red List Critically Endangered species (Animalia)
Amphibians — List of critically endangered amphibians
Birds — List of critically endangered birds
Fish — List of critically endangered fishes
Invertebrates — List of critically endangered invertebrates
Arthropods — List of critically endangered arthropods
Insects — List of critically endangered insects
Molluscs List of critically endangered molluscs
Mammals — List of critically endangered mammals
Reptiles — List of critically endangered reptiles
Fungi (kingdom Fungi) — List of fungi by conservation status
Plants (kingdom Plantae) — List of critically endangered plants
Protists (kingdom Protista) — List of Chromista by conservation statusLists of IUCN Red List endangered species
On 29 January 2010, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species identified 5220 (2754 Animalia, 1 Fungi, 2464 Plantae, 1 Protista) endangered species, subspecies and varieties, stocks and sub-populations.
For IUCN lists of endangered species by kingdom, see:
Animals (kingdom Animalia) — IUCN Red List endangered species (Animalia)
Amphibians — List of endangered amphibians
Birds — List of endangered birds
Fish — List of endangered fishes
Invertebrates — List of endangered invertebrates
Arthropods — List of endangered arthropods
Insects — List of endangered insects
Molluscs List of endangered molluscs
Mammals — List of endangered mammals
Reptiles — List of endangered reptiles
Fungi (kingdom Fungi) — IUCN Red List endangered species (Fungi)
Plants (kingdom Plantae) — IUCN Red List endangered species (Plantae)
Protists (kingdom Protista) — IUCN Red List endangered species (Protista)Pericopsis elata
Pericopsis elata is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae and is known by the common names African teak, afromosia, afrormosia, kokrodua and assamela.Sulawesi forest turtle
The Sulawesi forest turtle (Leucocephalon yuwonoi) is a critically endangered species of turtle in the family Geoemydidae. It is monotypic within the genus Leucocephalon. It is endemic to Sulawesi in Indonesia.Threatened species
Threatened species are any species (including animals, plants, fungi, etc.) which are vulnerable to endangerment in the near future. Species that are threatened are sometimes characterised by the population dynamics measure of critical depensation, a mathematical measure of biomass related to population growth rate. This quantitative metric is one method of evaluating the degree of endangerment.United States Fish and Wildlife Service
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS or FWS) is an agency of the US Federal Government within the US Department of the Interior dedicated to the management of fish, wildlife, and natural habitats. The mission of the agency is "working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people."
Among the responsibilities of the FWS are enforcing federal wildlife laws; protecting endangered species; managing migratory birds; restoring nationally significant fisheries; conserving and restoring wildlife habitat, such as wetlands; helping foreign governments with their international conservation efforts; and distributing money to states' fish and wildlife agencies through the Wildlife Sport Fish and Restoration Program.Sub-units of the FWS include:
National Wildlife Refuge System—560 National Wildlife Refuges and thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas covering over 150 million acres (607,000 km²)
Division of Migratory Bird Management
Federal Duck Stamp
National Fish Hatchery System—70 National Fish Hatcheries and 65 Fish and Wildlife Conservation Offices
Endangered Species program—86 Ecological Services Field Stations
International Affairs Program
National Conservation Training Center
USFWS Office of Law Enforcement
Clark R. Bavin National Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory
Landscape Conservation CooperativesThe vast majority of fish and wildlife habitat is on non-federal state or private land. Therefore, the FWS works closely with private groups such as Partners in Flight and Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council to promote voluntary habitat conservation and restoration.
The FWS employs approximately 9,000 people and is organized into a central administrative office in Falls Church, Virginia, eight regional offices, and nearly 700 field offices distributed throughout the United States.
Template: Threatened species by region
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1 Pre-2001 categories and subcategories shown in italics.
Zoos, aquariums and aviaries
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