10 of the Most Endangered Animals by MarijanStefanovic


									10 of the Most Endangered Animals The extinction of at least 500 species of animals has
been caused by man, most of them in this century. Today there are about 5,000
endangered animals and at least one species dies out every year. The number is rapidly
growing, some species becoming endangered without most of us even knowing it. Their
value is of utter importance, since they are responsible for a variety of useful
medications. The first step towards saving animals is to learn as much as possible about
them. So here is a look at some of the most endangered species of animals around the
world: Greater Horseshoe Bat There are fourteen species of bat in Britain and all of them
are endangered. The greater horseshoe bat is one of the rarest. There are currently 35
recognised maternity and all-year roosts and 369 hibernation sites. Current estimates
range between 4,000 and 6,600 individuals. They have also suffered from the use of
insecticides (poisonous chemicals sprayed on to crops to kill harmful insects) which have
deprived the bats of their insect food. Siberian Tiger It is highly endangered and there
may be fewer than 200 in the wild, probably all in special nature reserves. The are hunted
because a poacher can feed his family for a year on the proceeds of just one tiger kill.
Loggerhead Turtle This threatened reptile lives in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the
Black Sea and Atlantic Ocean. The turtle was once intensively hunted for their meat and
eggs, but its fat was also used in the cosmetic industry. Many of these animals die
annually caught in the fishing nets of crabfishers. In Turkey, hotels have been built right
on its breeding sites. White Tailed Fish Eagle Before man experimented with the use of
pheromones, this spectacular bird of prey was much more numerous than it is today.
They have also been hunted by shepherds and gamekeepers that considered them a threat
to their sheep or birds. With intense conservation actions, the populations in eastern
Europe recovered, recovery plans are aimed at colonizing some traditional breeding areas
in Europe. Mandarin Duck This bird can be seen Britain, but its native home is across
eastern Asia, in Russia, China, Korea and Japa. Worldwide population status is unknown,
the current Asian population being somewhere under 20,000. Extinction of these
beautiful birds is due to mainly loggers, hunters and poachers. Known predators include
mink, raccoon dog, otters, polecats, eagle owls and grass snakes. Lion-Tailed Macaque
These animals live in several areas in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Many of India's
tropical forests, the monkey's natural habitat, have been cleared and replaced with tea and
coffee plantations. As with so many mammals, currently the main threat in the wild is
destruction of their habitat. Poachers have also captured baby macaques, often killing
their parents in the process, for illegal export to collectors. They are considered to be the
most endangered monkey, with only 400 individuals left in the wild. They are hunted for
their flesh and fur. Jackass Penguin Once the most common sea-bird in in South Africa,
the jackass penguin is the only penguin to be found in Africa. Because they live so far
north, and in a relatively accessible region, African penguins have been particularly
vulnerable to human depredation. Considering the decline in food supplies, seals now
prey on the penguins instead. Oil pollution also threatens them, as does the taking of their
eggs for food. Mountain Gorilla The Virunga volcanoes region in eastern Zaire, Rwanda
and Uganda is the only home of the highly endangered mountain gorilla. They are
frequently killed by traps and snares intended for other animals, face habitat loss and are
vulnerable to many of the same diseases as humans. It depends on dense forests for
survival and these are steadily being cut down to make way for crop growing and
livestock grazing. Humans and gorillas are 98% genetically identical so they are also
exposed to human disease. This is the most endangered of the gorilla subspecies, only
about 700 mountain gorillas remain in the wild. Numbat They inhabit woodlands in
Western Australia, this is the only state in which they are found in the wild. The numbat
is now extinct throughout much of its range. It survives in the wild only in a small area in
the southwest corner of Australia. When man introduced predatory animals such as cats,
dogs and foxes, these animals ate many numbats. Their numbers are still declining since
many of the areas that constituted their habitats are being cleared for farming and mining.
Black Footed Ferret This is one of the most endangered mammals in North America, an
animal on the edge of extinction in the wild. Loss of habitat is the primary reason black-
footed ferrets remain near the brink of extinction. The remaining prairie dog colonies are
small and fragmented, separated by great expanses of cropland and human development.
By the year 2010, biologists hope to have 1500 ferrets established in the wild, with no
fewer than 30 breeding adults in each population Kiiza . C is an author and expert in
travel in Africa her other articles can be viewed from http://tour-uganda.com/rwanda-
tours/index.html - http://tour-uganda.com/primate-tours/uganda-cultural-primates-

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