Educating kids about the current status of endangered animals can be one of the best ways to bring future attention to a growing problem. Even though discussing the concept of endangered animals can be a serious and complicated topic, there are several facts and details that children may be able to grasp if presented in interesting and easy to understand ways.
What is an Endangered Animal?
An endangered animal is classified as an animal that is being threatened to the point of extinction. This means that if people do not do anything to help these animals survive, the species will disappear. Most endangered animals have low populations in the wild and this population rapidly continues to shrink, usually due to human activities.
Many Animals are in Danger of Extinction
The International Union for Conservation of Nature is one of the organisations that monitors endangered species all over the planet. They release a report they label the "Red List," which contains information about all the endangered species. According to the 2009 Red List of the IUCN, about 21 per cent of mammals, 12 per cent of birds, 30 per cent of amphibians and 28 per cent of reptiles are in danger of becoming extinct.
Majority of Endangered Animals Live in Forests
Forests consist of trees and plants, as well as a wide variety of animals, including around 70 per cent of all known species. Unfortunately, the forests in the world are starting to dwindle because of farming, logging and other human activities. When forests are destroyed and the natural habitat of animals disappears, animals begin to dwindle because they can't find food or a place to live in.
Humans can Help Prevent the Extinction of Endangered Animals
There are several man-made reasons why an animal becomes endangered: deforestation, pollution, hunting and even trading. Although animal extinction also occurs naturally, human activities have hastened the process of extinction. Lessening the number of endangered animals means lowering deforestation, stopping illegal hunting and trading.
Humans need to make a collective effort to protect endangered animals. There are several organisations and government policies that are currently providing help. In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency implements the Endangered Species Act, which is a law that protects and preserves the habitat of endangered animals.