Endangered animals is term very often used these days because habitat loss, climate change, pollution, and different other ecological issues are making it hard for many animals to survive, pushing some of them at the very brink of the extinction. The most common endangered animals definition would be "animals that are for some reasons at risk of becoming extinct". In order to give more dimensions to this definition it is vital to further explain reasons responsible for such huge animal loss.
The most recent numbers suggest that today there are more than 5000 endangered animals on our planet, and is estimated that at least one species die out each year. The most important factor responsible for such large number of endangered animals is habitat loss. Human population is constantly increasing, needing more area to support this growth, and this leads to reduced animal habitats. Other important factors include poaching, climate change, deforestation, diseases, and different forms of pollution.
Though scientists and environmentalists constantly monitor animal species and issue warnings when things are going in the wrong direction, only a few of many endangered animal species actually obtain legal protection. Only endangered animal species that have been publicly noticed have actual chance of being legally protected, while many other animal species go quietly and unnoticed towards the extinction.
The extinction of animals isn't something new, in fact many animals became extinct long before man's arrival on Earth (such as dinosaurs). This is what scientists refer to as the "natural extinction". Natural extinction can sometimes take many million years, and is characterized by the gradual and steady decline of some animal species.
In the last 100 years humans have significantly accelerated the rate of extinction, and the ever-increasing number of humans will likely do even bigger damage in years to come. Scientists believe that the extinction of at least 500 species of animals has been caused by man, and this number will likely grow even further in years to come.
So many endangered animals in the world means tremendous negative impact on biodiversity. Conserving biodiversity is not only important from ecological but also from economic point of view, and this will become mission impossible with the current rate of extinction.
Conservation efforts have rarely been connected with success because of many different negative factors. Successful conservation also requires lots of money and plenty of time, and politicians are not exactly thrilled with the idea of ensuring the large funds for conservation efforts.
What our society really lacks is ecological conscience. Many people think only of themselves, not caring for everything else that is happening on our planet. Each and every one of us must understand that we cannot survive without the animals and plants, and that with so many endangered plants and animals, things are not looking good for human population either.
Biodiversity loss is one of the biggest ecological problems on our planet, and it's time we do something about it. Human population mostly has negative impact on the species and the environment, and it is time we change this and find the right solution that would enable co-existence of humans, animals and plants.
Just imagine the future world without the lions, elephants, tigers, gorillas, bears, and many other well known animals. Would you like to live in such world?
Here's one very nice video that will introduce you to some animals threatened with extinction.