As of May 2011, the United States has officially listed 417 animals as "endangered." Thousands more have been listed around the world, and every day, animal rights groups, lawmakers and regular citizens work to help protect these animals from becoming extinct. Through numerous methods, people implement strategies and try to find new techniques to help humans coexist with nature.
Animal rights groups bring awareness to endangered animals to inform the world of the severity of the situation. Bringing awareness lets people know there is a problem, and these groups use this information to encourage people to help. They throw benefits, bringing the situation to light and to raise money for various plans to help the animals. They set up websites to encourage donations and to increase knowledge about the various endangered animals, letting people know what they can do to help.
According to the World Wildlife Foundation, the destruction of habitats is the greatest threat to endangered animals. Whether through encroaching cities, industries or natural disasters, animals are losing their habitats. These animals need their ecosystems to thrive, so animal rights groups works with lawmakers to protect these areas. They also use funds to purchase the land to protect the environments where endangered animals live. By preserving the habitats, they make it more likely that the endangered animals will survive.
While some animal rights groups go to extreme lengths to protect animals from poachers, many groups work with local and federal law enforcement to help save endangered species. Exploitation and illegal harvesting of wild animals is the second greatest threat to animals, according to the World Wildlife Foundation. By working with the police, animal rights groups bring awareness to illegal activity and promote the enforcement of laws already on the books to protect the endangered animals, like The Endangered Species Act. Without enforcement the laws can become meaningless.
Human presence can hurt delicate ecosystems, so the World Wildlife Foundation sets up cameras equipped with infrared triggers, called "camera traps," to obtain information about wildlife and their habitats. This allows scientists and animal rights groups to study the endangered animals without actually having to be physically present. By counting the animals and learning about their lives and environments, they can create plans to help save the species.
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