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A two-year-old Bornean orangutan. REUTERS/Tim Chong

Found only on the island of Borneo, Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) have a broader face & shorter beard than their cousins, Sumatran orangutans. This July, the IUCN changed their status to critically endangeredbecause the population has declined by 60% since 1950, and, according khổng lồ Scientific American, new projections estimate that their numbers will fall by another 22% by the year 2025.

The main threats for these animals are habitat loss (forests are turned into rubber, oil palm or paper plantations) and illegal hunting. Aggravating the problem, females only reproduce every six khổng lồ eight years — the longest birth interval of any land mammal — which makes conservation efforts slow.

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The ili pika was photographed for the first time in more than đôi mươi years on July 9, 2014 by Weidong Li, the conservationist who first discovered the species. Photo courtesy of Weidong Li

Ili pika (Ochontana iliensis) is a small mammal (only 7-8 inches long) that"s native to lớn the Tianshan mountain range of the remote Xinjiang region of China. Living on sloping bare rock faces và feeding on grasses at high elevations, this little creature is veryrare — there are less than 1,000 left.

The species was only discovered in 1983, but its numbers have declined by almost 70% since then, reports CNN. This is because the mammal"s habitat is being affected by climate change. Rising temperatures have forced the pikas to retreat up into the mountain tops. In addition, grazing pressure from livestock và air pollution have likely contributed to their decline.


A giant otter with a Sailfin Catfish in the Cuiabá River of Brazil. Bernard DUPONT/Flickr

Found only in South America, Giant otters, or Pteronura brasiliensis, are the largest otters in the world, with some as long as 6 feet.

Historically, giant otters were hunted for their pelts, causing a huge decline in their numbers. While they are no longer hunted today, they remain endangered because many of their aquatic habitats (rivers và lakes) have been degraded and destroyed, causing the fish populations they rely on for food to lớn dwindle.

They are often viewed as nuisances by humans, especially by fishermen. They are also threatened by gold-mining in the region, which leads khổng lồ mercury poisoning.


Amur leopards are critically endangered with maybe 60 living in the wild và around 200 in zoos around the world. AP Photo/Don Ryan

The solitary Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is one of the world"s most endangered wild cats. It has a thick yellow or rusty orange coat with long dense hair, and can weigh up to lớn 120 pounds. It can leap more than 19 feet, và it can run at speeds up to lớn 37 miles per hour.

It"s now found only in the Amur River basin of eastern Russia, having already gone extinct from đài loan trung quốc and the Korean Peninsula. According lớn WWF, there are around 60 amur leopards left in the wild.

A black-footed ferret crawls out of its burrow in the Aubrey Valley near Seligman, Arizona. AP Photo/Arizona Game and Fish Department, George Anderson

As a thành viên of the weasel family, the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) is the only ferret native to North America. They have rã bodies, black legs & feet, a black tip on their tail and a đen mask. They are highly specialized carnivores, with prairie dogs making up more than 90% of their diet.

The main threats endangering these carnivores are disease & lack of habitat, brought on largely because prairie dogs were poisoned for a large number of years, eliminating food source in many of their habitats.

The black-footed ferret was twice thought khổng lồ be extinct, but recovery efforts — notably captive breeding và reintroduction to the wild — have helped bring the animals back from the brink of extinction. Today, there are about 300-400 black-footed ferrets in the wild, according lớn the IUCN, all of which are descendants of the 18 ferrets that were part of captive-breeding efforts in the late 1980s.

Darwin's fox is an endemic species lớn Chile. Fernando Bórquez Bórquez/Flickr

Named after the famous scientist Charles Darwin, who discovered the species in 1834, Darwin’s fox (Lycalopex fulvipes) is found in Chile in two places: the Nahuelbuta National Park và the island of Chiloè. Dark in màu sắc with short legs, this carnivorous creature is active mostly at twilight và dawn.

These carnivores creatures are considered an “umbrella species,” which means that protecting them and their temperate forest homes helps preserve the entire ecosystem. According to lớn the IUCN, they are threatened by habitat loss, hunting, và non-native species, particularly domestic dogs.

Ratu, a 8 year-old female Sumatran Rhinoceros, at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in the Way Kambas National Park, Indonesia. REUTERS/Supri

As the only Asian rhino with two horns, the Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is the smallest of the rhino family, living in isolated pockets of dense mountain forests in Malaysia, Indonesia & possibly Myanmar (Burma). They are recognizable because they are covered in long hair, which helps keep mud caked to their body to cool them và protect them from insects.

They are one of the most endangered rhinos in the world, along with the Javan rhino, with maybe only 220-275 Sumatran rhinos left in the world, according to lớn WWF. Greatly threatened by poaching, they are, like other rhinos, hunted for their horns. There is no indication that the population is stable and only two captive females have reproduced in the last 15 years.

A white-rumped vulture flying near water. Deepak sankat/Wikimedia Commons

One of three critically endangered species of vulture, the white-rumped vulture (Gyps bengalensis) has suffered what the IUCN classifies as a “catastrophic decline” across the Indian subcontinent, to the point that it is highly threatened with extinction. Over 99% of its population has been wiped out since the 1980s, making it the fastest decline of any bird species in recorded history, according to Mother Nature Network.

A pangolin is released into the wild by Natural Resources Conservation Agency officials at a conservation forest in Sibolangit, Indonesia on March 1, 2013. AP Photo/Jefri Tarigan

Found in forests and grasslands, pangolins are solitary, nocturnal creatures with scales covering their bodies & long sticky tongues lớn slurp up ants và termites. They are about the size of a house cat, và look a little bit like artichokes on legs. When frightened, they defend themselves by rolling up into a ball.

These critters, found in Asia and Africa, are endangered because they are increasingly the victims of wildlife crime for their meat & scales. In fact, according to lớn CNN, they are believed to lớn be the most trafficked mammal in the world. It is estimated that 100,000 are captured every year.

A 4-5 month-old female Saola at the Forest Inventory và Planning Institute botanical garden in Hanoi, Vietnam David Hulse / WWF

First discovered in May 1992, the saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis) is often called the “Asian unicorn.” It is a rarely-seen, critically endangered mammal. In fact, it is so rare that scientists have only seen it in the wild four times, according lớn WWF.

Both male và female saolas have two parallel horns on their heads, they have trắng markings on their face, and they look like antelopes (though they are actually cousins of cattle). They live in the forests of Vietnam & Laos. According to lớn the IUCN, saolas are threatened by hunting and the continued fragmentation of their habitat as a result of human activities, such as road-building.

A vaquita in the Gulf of California. Paula Olson, NOAA/Wikimedia Commons

First discovered in 1958, the vaquita (Phocoena sinus), also known as the Gulf of California harbor porpoise, is the smallest cetacean — an order of animals that include whales, dolphins, và porpoises. Only about five feet long, this porpoise has a gray body, a pale gray or trắng belly, a dark patch around its eyes, & dark patches forming a line from its mouth lớn its pectoral fins.

As the world’s rarest marine mammal, the vaquita is on the edge of extinction: According lớn the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita, only about 60 of these animals remain. This marks a 40% decrease in their population since 2014. These little porpoises are often caught và drowned in gill-nets used by illegal fishing operations within Mexico’s Gulf of California, according lớn WWF. Because they are confined to lớn such a small region, they may also be vulnerable to lớn climate change, as warming temperatures could affect their food availability và habitat conditions.

đen spider monkeys feeding on moldering wood out of a hole in a dead tree in Manu National Park, Peru. André Bärtschi / WWF

Found in eastern South America north of the Amazon River, the
Peruvian đen Spider Monkey (Ateles chamek) spends much of its time in the canopy of the rainforest. Eating mainly fruit, these monkeys are an essential part of the tropical rainforest ecosystem, playing a role in seed dispersal.

Also known as red-faced or Guiana spider monkeys, the population is believed lớn have declined by at least một nửa over the past 45 years, according to the IUCN. They are threatened by hunting, fragmentation, and the destruction of their tropical rainforest homes.

A Red Wolf adult. Courtesy of Rebecca Bose

Native khổng lồ the Southeast & Florida, red wolves are considered a critically endangered species by the IUCN.

There are now only around25 lớn 40 left in the wild, & they all live in Eastern North Carolina.

Red wolves are particularly known for their shyness & their penchant for mating for life. The species is on the brink of extinction, despite efforts to lớn save it.

An endangered species is a type of organism that is threatened by extinction. Species become endangered for two main reasons: loss of habitat & loss of genetic variation.

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An endangered species is a type of organism that is threatened by extinction. Species become endangered for two main reasons: loss of habitat & loss of genetic variation.Loss of HabitatA loss of habitat can happen naturally. Dinosaurs, for instance, lost their habitat about 65 million years ago. The hot, dry climate of the Cretaceous period changed very quickly, most likely because of an asteroid striking the Earth. The impact of the asteroid forced debris into the atmosphere, reducing the amount of heat and light that reached Earth’s surface. The dinosaurs were unable to lớn adapt to lớn this new, cooler habitat. Dinosaurs became endangered, then extinct.Human activity can also contribute to lớn a loss of habitat. Development for housing, industry, and agriculture reduces the habitat of native organisms. This can happen in a number of different ways.Development can eliminate habitat và native species directly. In the Amazon rain forest of South America, developers have cleared hundreds of thousands of acres. Lớn “clear” a piece of land is to lớn remove all trees và vegetation from it. The Amazon rain forest is cleared for cattle ranches, logging, và urban use.Development can also endanger species indirectly. Some species, such as fig trees of the rain forest, may provide habitat for other species. As trees are destroyed, species that depend on that tree habitat may also become endangered. Tree crowns provide habitat in the canopy, or top layer, of a rainforest. Plants such as vines, fungi such as mushrooms, và insects such as butterflies live in the rain forest canopy. So vì hundreds of species of tropical birds & mammals such as monkeys. As trees are cut down, this habitat is lost. Species have less room to lớn live và reproduce.Loss of habitat may happen as development takes place in a species range. Many animals have a range of hundreds of square kilometers. The mountain lion of North America, for instance, has a range of up lớn 1,000 square kilometers (386 square miles). To lớn successfully live & reproduce, a single mountain lion patrols this much territory. Urban areas, such as Los Angeles, California, and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, grew rapidly during the 20th century. As these areas expanded into the wilderness, the mountain lion’s habitat became smaller. That means the habitat can support fewer mountain lions. Because enormous parts of the Sierra Nevada, Rocky, và Cascade mountain ranges remain undeveloped, however, mountain lions are not endangered.Loss of habitat can also lead khổng lồ increased encounters between wild species và people. As development brings people deeper into a species range, they may have more exposure to lớn wild species. Poisonous plants and fungi may grow closer khổng lồ homes and schools. Wild animals are also spotted more frequently. These animals are simply patrolling their range, but interaction with people can be deadly. Polar bears, mountain lions, & alligators are all predators brought into close liên hệ with people as they lose their habitat lớn homes, farms, và businesses. As people kill these wild animals, through pesticides, accidents such as collisions with cars, or hunting, native species may become endangered.

Loss of Genetic VariationGenetic variation is the diversity found within a species. It’s why human beings may have blond, red, brown, or black hair. Genetic variation allows species lớn adapt lớn changes in the environment. Usually, the greater the population of a species, the greater its genetic variation.Inbreeding is reproduction with close family members. Groups of species that have a tendency lớn inbreed usually have little genetic variation, because no new genetic information is introduced khổng lồ the group. Disease is much more common, và much more deadly, among inbred groups. Inbred species vì chưng not have the genetic variation khổng lồ develop resistance khổng lồ the disease. For this reason, fewer offspring of inbred groups survive lớn maturity.Loss of genetic variation can occur naturally. Cheetahs are a threatened species native to Africa and Asia. These big cats have very little genetic variation. Biologists say that during the last ice age, cheetahs went through a long period of inbreeding. As a result, there are very few genetic differences between cheetahs. They cannot adapt khổng lồ changes in the environment as quickly as other animals, & fewer cheetahs survive khổng lồ maturity. Cheetahs are also much more difficult to lớn breed in captivity than other big cats, such as lions.Human activity can also lead to a loss of genetic variation. Overhunting and overfishing have reduced the populations of many animals. Reduced population means there are fewer breeding pairs. A breeding pair is made up of two mature members of the species that are not closely related và can produce healthy offspring. With fewer breeding pairs, genetic variation shrinks.Monoculture, the agricultural method of growing a single crop, can also reduce genetic variation. Modern agribusiness relies on monocultures. Almost all potatoes cultivated, sold, and consumed, for instance, are from a single species, the Russet Burbank. Potatoes, native to lớn the Andes Mountains of South America, have dozens of natural varieties. The genetic variation of wild potatoes allows them to adapt lớn climate change and disease. For Russet Burbanks, however, farmers must use fertilizers & pesticides khổng lồ ensure healthy crops because the plant has almost no genetic variation.Plant breeders often go back lớn wild varieties to collect genes that will help cultivated plants resist pests & drought, & adapt khổng lồ climate change. However, climate change is also threatening wild varieties. That means domesticated plants may lose an important source of traits that help them overcome new threats.The Red ListThe International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) keeps a “Red list of Threatened Species.” The Red danh sách defines the severity và specific causes of a species’ threat of extinction. The Red danh sách has seven levels of conservation: least concern, near threatened, vulnerable, endangered, critically endangered, extinct in the wild, and extinct. Each category represents a different threat level.Species that are not threatened by extinction are placed within the first two categories—least concern và near-threatened. Those that are most threatened are placed within the next three categories, known as the threatened categories—vulnerable, endangered, & critically endangered. Those species that are extinct in some form are placed within the last two categories—extinct in the wild & extinct.Classifying a species as endangered has to vì chưng with its range and habitat, as well as its actual population. For this reason, a species can be of least concern in one area và endangered in another. The gray whale, for instance, has a healthy population in the eastern Pacific Ocean, along the coast of North and South America. The population in the western Pacific, however, is critically endangered.

Least ConcernLeast concern is the lowest cấp độ of conservation. A species of least concern is one that has a widespread and abundant population. Human beings are a species of least concern, along with most domestic animals, such as dogs and cats. Many wild animals, such as pigeons & houseflies, are also classified as least concern.Near ThreatenedA near threatened species is one that is likely to qualify for a threatened category in the near future.Many species of violets, native to lớn tropical jungles in South America & Africa, are near threatened, for instance. They have healthy populations, but their rain forest habitat is disappearing at a fast pace. People are cutting down huge areas of rain forest for development & timber. Many violet species are likely khổng lồ become threatened.Vulnerable SpeciesThe definitions of the three threatened categories (vulnerable, endangered, và critically endangered) are based on five criteria: population reduction rate, geographic range, population size, population restrictions, và probability of extinction.Threatened categories have different thresholds for these criteria. As the population và range of the species decreases, the species becomes more threatened.1) Population reduction rateA species is classified as vulnerable if its population has declined between 30 và 50 percent. This decline is measured over 10 years or three generations of the species, whichever is longer. A generation is the period of time between the birth of an animal & the time it is able to reproduce. Mice are able lớn reproduce when they are about one month old. Mouse populations are mostly tracked over 10-year periods. An elephant's generation lasts about 15 years. So, elephant populations are measured over 45-year periods.A species is vulnerable if its population has declined at least 50 percent and the cause of the decline is known. Habitat loss is the leading known cause of population decline.A species is also classified as vulnerable if its population has declined at least 30 percent và the cause of the decline is not known. A new, unknown virus, for example, could kill hundreds or even thousands of individuals before being identified.2) Geographic rangeA species is vulnerable if its “extent of occurrence” is estimated khổng lồ be less than 20,000 square kilometers (7,722 square miles). An extent of occurrence is the smallest area that could contain all sites of a species’ population. If all members of a species could survive in a single area, the size of that area is the species’ extent of occurrence.A species is also classified as vulnerable if its “area of occupancy” is estimated khổng lồ be less than 2,000 square kilometers (772 square miles). An area of occupancy is where a specific population of that species resides. This area is often a breeding or nesting site in a species range.

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3) Population sizeSpecies with fewer than 10,000 mature individuals are vulnerable. The species is also vulnerable if that population declines by at least 10 percent within 10 years or three generations, whichever is longer.4) Population restrictionsPopulation restriction is a combination of population and area of occupancy. A species is vulnerable if it is restricted khổng lồ less than 1,000 mature individuals or an area of occupancy of less than 20 square kilometers (8 square miles).5) Probability of extinction in the wild is at least 10 percent within 100 years.Biologists, anthropologists, meteorologists, và other scientists have developed complex ways to lớn determine a species’ probability of extinction. These formulas calculate the chances a species can survive, without human protection, in the wild.Vulnerable Species: Ethiopian Banana FrogThe Ethiopian banana frog (Afrixalus enseticola) is a small frog native to lớn high-altitude areas of southern Ethiopia. It is a vulnerable species because its area of occupancy is less than 2,000 square kilometers (772 square miles). The extent and chất lượng of its forest habitat are in decline. Threats lớn this habitat include forest clearance, mostly for housing and agriculture.Vulnerable Species: Snaggletooth SharkThe snaggletooth shark (Hemipristis elongatus) is found in the tropical, coastal waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Its area of occupancy is enormous, from southeast Africa lớn the Philippines, and from đài loan trung quốc to Australia.However, the snaggletooth shark is a vulnerable species because of a severe population reduction rate. Its population has fallen more than 10 percent over 10 years. The number of sharks is declining due to fisheries, especially in the Java Sea and Gulf of Thailand. The snaggletooth shark’s flesh, fins, and liver are considered high-quality foods. They are sold in commercial fish markets, as well as restaurants.Vulnerable Species: Galapagos KelpGalapagos kelp (Eisenia galapagensis) is a type of seaweed only found near the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Galapagos kelp is classified as vulnerable because its population has declined more than 10 percent over 10 years.Climate change is the leading cause of decline among Galapagos kelp. El Nino, the natural weather pattern that brings unusually warm water lớn the Galapagos, is the leading agent of climate change in this area. Galapagos kelp is a cold-water species và does not adapt quickly to lớn changes in water temperature.

Endangered Species1) Population reduction rateA species is classified as endangered when its population has declined between 50 và 70 percent. This decline is measured over 10 years or three generations of the species, whichever is longer.A species is classified as endangered when its population has declined at least 70 percent & the cause of the decline is known. A species is also classified as endangered when its population has declined at least 50 percent và the cause of the decline is not known.2) Geographic rangeAn endangered species’ extent of occurrence is less than 5,000 square kilometers (1,930 square miles). An endangered species’ area of occupancy is less than 500 square kilometers (193 square miles).3) Population sizeA species is classified as endangered when there are fewer than 2,500 mature individuals. When a species population declines by at least đôi mươi percent within five years or two generations, it is also classified as endangered.4) Population restrictionsA species is classified as endangered when its population is restricted to lớn less than 250 mature individuals. When a species’ population is this low, its area of occupancy is not considered.5) Probability of extinction in the wild is at least 20 percent within trăng tròn years or five generations, whichever is longer.Endangered Species: Siberian SturgeonThe Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii) is a large fish found in rivers and lakes throughout the Siberian region of Russia. The Siberian sturgeon is a benthic species. Benthic species live at the bottom of a toàn thân of water.The Siberian sturgeon is an endangered species because its total population has declined between 50 and 80 percent during the past 60 years (three generations of sturgeon). Overfishing, poaching, & dam construction have caused this decline. Pollution from mining activities has also contributed to lớn abnormalities in the sturgeon’s reproductive system.Endangered Species: Tahiti Reed-warblerThe Tahiti reed-warbler (Acrocephalus caffer) is a songbird found on the Pacific island of Tahiti. It is an endangered species because it has a very small population. The bird is only found on a single island, meaning both its extent of occurrence và area of occupancy are very small.The Tahiti reed-warbler is also endangered because of human activity. The tropical weed Miconia is a non-native species that has taken over much of Tahiti’s native vegetation. The reed-warbler lives almost exclusively in Tahiti’s bamboo forests. The bird nests in bamboo và feeds on flowers & insects that live there. As development và invasive species such as Miconia destroy the bamboo forests, the population of Tahiti reed-warblers continues khổng lồ shrink.

Endangered Species: EbonyEbony (Diospyros crassiflora) is a tree native lớn the rain forests of central Africa, including Congo, Cameroon, và Gabon. Ebony is an endangered species because many biologists calculate its probability of extinction in the wild is at least trăng tròn percent within five generations.Ebony is threatened due to overharvesting. Ebony trees produce a very heavy, dark wood. When polished, ebony can be mistaken for đen marble or other stone. For centuries, ebony trees have been harvested for furniture and sculptural uses such as chess pieces. Most ebony, however, is harvested lớn make musical instruments such as piano keys và the fingerboards of stringed instruments.Critically Endangered Species1) Population reduction rateA critically endangered species’ population has declined between 80 & 90 percent. This decline is measured over 10 years or three generations of the species, whichever is longer.A species is classified as critically endangered when its population has declined at least 90 percent and the cause of the decline is known. A species is also classified as endangered when its population has declined at least 80 percent và the cause of the decline is not known.2) Geographic rangeA critically endangered species’ extent of occurrence is less than 100 square kilometers (39 square miles). A critically endangered species’ area of occupancy is estimated lớn be less than 10 square kilometers (4 square miles).3) Population sizeA species is classified as critically endangered when there are fewer than 250 mature individuals. A species is also classified as critically endangered when the number of mature individuals declines by at least 25 percent within three years or one generation, whichever is longer.4) Population restrictionsA species is classified as critically endangered when its population is restricted lớn less than 50 mature individuals. When a species’ population is this low, its area of occupancy is not considered.5) Probability of extinction in the wild is at least 50 percent within 10 years or three generations, whichever is longer.Critically Endangered Species: Bolivian Chinchilla RatThe Bolivian chinchilla rat (Abrocoma boliviensis) is a rodent found in a small section of the Santa Cruz region of Bolivia. It is critically endangered because its extent of occurrence is less than 100 square kilometers (39 square miles).The major threat to this species is loss of its cloud forest habitat. People are clearing forests lớn create cattle pastures.

Critically Endangered Species: Transcaucasian RacerunnerThe Transcaucasian racerunner (Eremias pleskei) is a lizard found on the Armenian Plateau, located in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, & Turkey. The Transcaucasian racerunner is a critically endangered species because of a huge population decline, estimated at more than 80 percent during the past 10 years.Threats to this species include the salination, or increased saltiness, of soil. Fertilizers used for agricultural development seep into the soil, increasing its saltiness. Racerunners live in & among the rocks và soil, and cannot adapt to lớn the increased salt in their food and shelter. The racerunner is also losing habitat as people create trash dumps on their area of occupancy.Critically Endangered Species: trắng Ferula MushroomThe white ferula mushroom (Pleurotus nebrodensis) is a critically endangered species of fungus. The mushroom is critically endangered because its extent of occurrence is less than 100 square kilometers (39 square miles). It is only found in the northern part of the Italian island of Sicily, in the Mediterranean Sea.The leading threats to white ferula mushrooms are loss of habitat and overharvesting. Trắng ferula mushrooms are a gourmet food item. Farmers và amateur mushroom hunters harvest the fungus for food và profit. The mushrooms can be sold for up to lớn $100 per kilogram (2.2 pounds).Extinct In The WildA species is extinct in the wild when it only survives in cultivation (plants), in captivity (animals), or as a population well outside its established range. A species may be listed as extinct in the wild only after years of surveys have failed to lớn record an individual in its native or expected habitat.Extinct in the Wild: Scimitar-horned OryxThe scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah) is a species of antelope with long horns. Its range extends across northern Africa. The scimitar-horned oryx is listed as extinct in the wild because the last confirmed sighting of one was in 1988. Overhunting and habitat loss, including competition with domestic livestock, are the main reasons for the extinction of the oryx’s wild population.Captive herds are now kept in protected areas of Tunisia, Senegal, and Morocco. Scimitar-horned oryxes are also found in many zoos.Extinct in the Wild: đen Soft-shell TurtleThe black soft-shell turtle (Nilssonia nigricans) is a freshwater turtle that exists only in one man-made pond, at the Baizid Bostami Shrine near Chittagong, Bangladesh. The 150 to lớn 300 turtles that live at the pond rely entirely on humans for food. Until 2000, đen soft-shell turtles lived throughout the wetlands of the Brahmaputra River, feeding mostly on freshwater fish.Unlike other animals that are extinct in the wild, đen soft-shell turtles are not found in many zoos. The shrine’s caretakers vị not allow anyone, including scientists, lớn take the turtles. The reptiles are considered to be the descendants of people who were miraculously turned into turtles by a saint during the 13th century.

Extinct in the Wild: Mt. Kaala CyaneaThe Mt. Kaala cyanea (Cyanea superba) is a large, flowering tree native khổng lồ the island of Oahu, in the U.S. State of Hawaii. The Mt. Kaala cyanea has large, broad leaves and fleshy fruit. The tree is extinct in the wild largely because of invasive species. Non-native plants crowded the cyanea out of its habitat, & non-native animals such as pigs, rats, & slugs ate its fruit more quickly than it could reproduce.Mt. Kaala cyanea trees survive in tropical nurseries và botanical gardens. Many botanists và conservationists look forward khổng lồ establishing a new population in the wild.ExtinctA species is extinct when there is no reasonable doubt that the last remaining individual of that species has died.Extinct: Cuban MacawThe Cuban macaw (Ara tricolor) was a tropical parrot native to lớn Cuba and a small Cuban island, Isla de la Juventud. Hunting and collecting the birds for pets led to lớn the bird’s extinction. The last specimen of the Cuban macaw was collected in 1864.Extinct: Ridley’s Stick InsectRidley’s stick insect (Pseudobactricia ridleyi) was native khổng lồ the tropical jungle of the island of Singapore. This insect, whose long, segmented toàn thân resembled a tree limb, is only known through a single specimen, collected more than 100 years ago. During the 20th century, Singapore experienced rapid development. Almost the entire jungle was cleared, depriving the insect of its habitat.Extinct: Sri Lankan Legume TreeThe Sri Lankan legume tree (Crudia zeylanica), native only to lớn the island of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean, was a giant species of legume. Peas & peanuts are smaller types of legumes.Habitat loss from development in the 20th century is the main reason the tree went extinct in the wild. A single specimen survived at the Royal Botanical Garden in Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, until 1990, when that, too, was lost.

Endangered Species and PeopleWhen a species is classified as endangered, governments và international organizations can work to lớn protect it. Laws may limit hunting and destruction of the species’ habitat. Individuals và organizations that break these laws may face huge fines. Because of such actions, many species have recovered from their endangered status.The brown pelican was taken off the endangered species các mục in 2009, for instance. This seabird is native to lớn the coasts of North America & South America, as well as the islands of the Caribbean Sea. It is the state bird of the U.S. State of Louisiana. In 1970, the number of brown pelicans in the wild was estimated at 10,000. The bird was classified as vulnerable.During the 1970s và 1980s, governments và conservation groups worked lớn help the brown pelican recover. Young chicks were reared in hatching sites, then released into the wild. Human access to nesting sites was severely restricted. The pesticide DDT, which damaged the eggs of the brown pelican, was banned. During the 1980s, the number of brown pelicans soared. In 1988, the IUCN “delisted” the brown pelican. The bird, whose population is now in the hundreds of thousands, is now in the category of least concern.