Certain species of animals across the world are considered endangered, meaning they are in danger of becoming extinct in the near future. The Endangered Species Act lists approximately 1,950 species of animals as being endangered. In the United States and surrounding waters alone, there are around 1,375 endangered species found.
Endangered animals are found on every continent around the world. In Africa, endangered species include the cheetah, black rhinoceros, addax, mountain zebra and western lowland gorilla. Some of the endangered species in Australia are the numbat, Tasmanian tiger, central rock bat and shark bay mouse. Endangered animals in Asia include the Asian golden cat, Javan rhinoceros, wild yak, sika deer and Asiatic lion. In North America, the cougar, bighorn sheep, red wolf and Mexican bobcat are included in the list of endangered animals. South American endangered species include the maned wolf, ocelot, giant otter and Andean cat. Endangered animals in Europe include the brown bear, sand cat and argali.
Animal endangerment is caused by a variety of reasons on every continent. The destruction of animal habitats is one of the biggest reasons, due to development in the ever changing world. Human activities affect every aspect of the Earth, including our animals. Forests are disappearing as more land is being developed. Disease in animal populations can cause animals to become endangered as diseases spread and animals lack protection against them. Pollution is causing suffering in animals on land and in our waters.
There are things that can and are being done to help protect our endangered animals and increase their population. The Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973 to protect animals that are at risk of going extinct. This act restricts the trading, transporting and hunting of these endangered and threatened animals. State, federal and international agencies are all working together, along with private organizations, to keep all of these endangered animals and their habitats protected.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency works to ensure that pesticides are not harming species and habitats that are protected by the Endangered Species Act. Endangered animals are protected with the assistance of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This is done through the assessment of species that may be at risk of becoming endangered and working with landowners to protect their habitats. National Marine Fisheries Service works with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to manage endangered anadromous and marine species. Born Free is a non-profit national advocacy organization that is working to protect highly endangered species and their habitats. The World Wildlife Fund has also been working for years to help conserve nature and protect endangered species.