What is the Endangered Species List?

Pamela Pleasant

The endangered species list documents the species that are facing extinction. To be included, typically the number of a particular species must be dwindling at a fast rate. A changing environment or shrinking habitat can also have an impact on the endangered species list, as can an infestation of the animal’s natural predator. Deforestation can cause a shortage of food and water for a certain species, which also can lead to extinction. There are laws to protect animals listed on the endangered species list that apply in many nations throughout the world.

The endangered species list details factors which cause animals to be endangered.
The endangered species list details factors which cause animals to be endangered.

It can be difficult to determine if a species should be added to the endangered species list. The conservation of the species has to be assessed. Over a period of time, the increase and decrease of the animal’s population is documented as well as its natural predators, its possibility of successful breeding in captivity, and the overall protection of the species. Depending on these factors, the species might be added to the endangered species list. Laws are then put in place for protection.

When an animal is on the endangered species list, it becomes illegal to hunt or harm them in anyway. It also is against the law to house endangered animals or attempt to keep them as pets. They can no longer be bought or sold in pet stores. The land the creatures dwell on can often be protected by strict building restrictions and sometimes an endangered animal's habitat can be turned into an animal preserve.

An animal that is dependent on conservation isn’t typically at a high risk for extinction. This only means that the numbers may be dwindling and they species should continue to be observed. A vulnerable animal may have a slightly higher risk for extinction, but this can take a significant amount of time. Endangered species have dwindling population numbers and are at a high risk for extinction in a short period of time and critically endangered species face immediate extinction.

The primary reason for extinction is mainly due to human occupation. Encroaching on a natural habitat can impact a species by removing vulnerable animals and forcing them to adapt to other surroundings. Pollution can have a negative effect on not only land-dwelling creatures but also for some aquatic life. Any kind of climate change due to relocation can cause diseases and a decrease in population numbers.

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