There are many endangered animals in every habitat in the world, including freshwater biomes. Freshwater biomes are places of water that have low salt concentration. These types of habitats include stream, rivers, ponds, lakes and wetlands. Mammals, reptiles and fish species are in danger of extinction in many freshwater biomes around the world.
The Greek name for a Hippopotamus is “river horse.” It is found throughout Africa in rivers and lakes. It spends up to 16 hours a day in freshwater to keep its body cool. It walks on the river bed or lies in shallow waters. At night hippos travel in single file up to six miles on land to graze. Hippos were placed on the endangered species list in 2006. The biggest threat to the species is from poachers who kill for the ivory in its teeth.
The American crocodile is a species of reptile found in western Mexico, Ecuador and southern Florida. It has a long tail and muscular body that glides through the water. It also has webbed feet to allow it to walk on land. The American crocodile feeds on fish, insects, reptiles and birds. It uses its strong jaw and rows of sharp teeth to catch its prey. Once caught, it drags the prey underwater and wrestles until the prey is dead. In the past it was hunted by humans for its skin, and now it’s under threat because of a loss of its wetland habitat.
Coahuilan Box Turtles
The Coahuilan box turtle is native to Mexico’s Cuatro Cienegas wetlands. It spends 90 percent of its time in freshwater to keep cool from the desert’s sun. It can be found in rivers, pools and springs. These turtles feed on insects and plants and don't like to venture far from their homes. It is estimated only a few thousand remain in Mexico. This is because its habitat has been lost to irrigation and drought.
Manatees are mammals that live in rivers in Africa and South America. A manatee lives in pairs or small groups. Like all marine mammals, it must breathe at the water’s surface but otherwise lives in water all the time. It has a strong tail to help it travel at 5 miles an hour on average. It is born underwater and within an hour can swim unaided. It eats weeds, algae and water grass and lives up to 40 years in the wild. Manatees are endangered because of a loss of habitat and are at risk of being killed by motorboat propellers.
Mekong Freshwater Stingray
The Mekong freshwater stingray is located in Mekong and Chao Phraya river systems. It is one of the largest fish in the world. It has a wide, flat body with wing-like fins. It feeds on bottom-dwelling invertebrates as it spends a lot of time on the bottom of river beds. The Mekong freshwater stingray is in danger because of overfishing. It is sold as a delicacy, and sometimes stingrays unintentionally get trapped in fishing nets.
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