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Endangered Species

Solar powered craft escaping pollution

butterfly struggling through smog 

Rainforest bird (Toucan) looking for trees to help absorb carbon
This Toucan is worried about pollution in the Rainforest.
Click
HERE to see what happens when the air is clean.


Generally, an endangered species is a living organism in danger of disappearing
from the face of the Earth if it is not protected and its situation is not improved.

In 1973, the U.S. Endangered Species Act was passed -
to protect the lives and habitats of endangered plant and animal species.

Endangered Species banner - Eagle
 

Species listed as endangered are in
IMMEDIATE DANGER OF EXTINCTION!
 If all the plants or animals of a certain species die,
that species becomes extinct.

Into extinction

GONE FOREVER

Species are an integral part of whole-interacting ecosystems.
These complex
whole systems have evolved over millions of years.

 

When any extinction occurs, 
it affects the planet's biodiversity negatively and irreversibly.

 

 

When a species is lost, 
knowledge of its historic relationship to local and global environmental factors is also lost.
 



For every 10 species listed as endangered, nearly 6 of those species are plants. 
Although mammals and birds have gotten more attention,
it is plants that are fundamental to nature's functioning,
as they support most of the rest of life by converting sunlight into food.

 

Rosy Periwinkle (source of medicine to treat childhood Leukemia and Hodgekin's disease.
Graphic depicting Rosy Periwinkle
(source of medicine to treat childhood Leukemia and
Hodgkin's disease.)


Healthy forest ecosystem
supporting a great variety of
plant and animal species.

Why Save Endangered Species?  (Division of Wildlife Conservation, Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game)

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 
The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources "Red List" is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species.  It is recognized as the most authoritative guide to the status of biological diversity.

Endangered Giant Panda

The Giant Panda is a National Treasure of China and a symbol of the world's endangered wildlife.

Giant Panda - Endangered!

"Increased numbers are encouraging, but pandas aren't out of the woods yet. They are still gravely threatened by human disturbance, poachers, and fractured habitats caused by deforestation."

 

- WWF Panda Program

Panda Boom - Zoo has hands full with 16 baby pandas

Baby Panda Pictures

Giant Panda News and Events (Smithsonian)
 

Giant Pandas - Then and Now (American Museum of Natural History)

Giant pandas, said to have been around during the time of dinosaurs, are cited as a "national gem" of China.  "China's endangered panda expands habitat" (China Daily, 2/17/05)
 

Endangered Species Program  (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
"...working to conserve and restore endangered and threatened species
and the ecosystems upon which they depend."

Sea Turtles - Endangered!
All seven species of Sea Turtles are listed as endangered, threatened or vulnerable.
The female nesting population of the
100 million year old Pacific leatherback sea turtle has collapsed by 95 percent since 1980. The Pacific Leatherback is listed as Critically Endangered, and it is feared it could possibly go extinct in the next 5-30 years unless immediate action is taken to remove the threats that are endangering the species.
Photo of dead Leatherback on fishing vessel deck

dead sea turtle floating upside down
Dead Sea Turtle
Photo credit: 
South Florida Water Management District

Summary of the ESA (Endangered Species Act)  (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Scroll down through History, Administration, Listing, and Recovery

U.S. Endangered Species Lists
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Endangered Species central listings of Threatened and Endangered plant and animal species.

Endangered Manatee
 Endangered!

Manatees
Known as "the sea cow," the manatee is one of
 the most endangered marine mammals in
coastal waters of the United States today.

 (Defenders of Wildlife)

NatureServe
Search NatureServe Explorer, an authoritative source for information on more than 65,000 plants, animals, and ecosystems of the United States and Canada. Explorer includes particularly in-depth coverage for rare and endangered species. Search InfoNatura for information pertaining to Latin America and the Carribbean.

Laws on Collecting and Endangered Species (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)  
Importers, exporters, hunters, crafters, gallery owners, travelers, hikers - 
You may not be a smuggler or a poacher, but just "innocently" collecting a few ornamental plants to decorate your home, using some bird feathers in craftwork, or bringing home some souvenirs from your travels.  Beware - Know the current laws!

 

Rhinoceros - rhinos are killed for their horns
Rhinos - Endangered!
Very few Rhinos now exist
outside of protected areas


Gorillas - Endangered!
All great ape species are threatened
with extinction in the wild.


Discoveries of New Species (Eco-Pros Species Biodiversity)

Red List of Pollinator Insects of North America (Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation)
Species in need of conservation attention that are near extinction, or in danger of extinction in the long term.

Extinction Looms for Borneo's Rhinos (Fox Science News, 3/17/06)
Poaching must be stopped immediately!

Endangered Species News (Capitol Reports)

Refuges at Risk:  America's Ten Most Endangered National Wildlife Refuges 2005
Defenders of Wildlife has released its annual report listing the threats facing the U.S. National Wildlife Refuge System, highlighting lack of adequate staff and funding as major problems needing addressing.  “If we don’t turn back some of these immediate threats to our wildlife refuge system, America’s most amazing wildlife spectacles will simply not be there for our grandchildren.”
Click link at top of announcement for complete report.

World Wildlife - WWF
Click on the links provided on the side panels to see pictures and learn about the endangered and threatened species WWF protects around the world.

The State of Disappearing Species and Habitat (A Sierra Club Report)
Includes Introduction, Causes and Effects of Habitat Destruction and Loss, Trends in Habitat Loss, Types of Habitat in Decline, Where Habitat Loss is Occurring in U.S., How the Endangered Species Act Works, Listing Endangered and Threatened Species, Protecting Critical Habitat, Recovery Planning, Prohibited Actions under the ESA, Incidental Take Permits and HCPs, Conclusion and Recommendations for Protecting America's Imperiled Species and Ecosystems (i.e., Improving Federal Programs, Promoting the Conservation of Entire Ecosystems, Eliminating Harmful Land Management Policies).

Endangered Florida Panther
Florida Panther - Endangered!
The Florida Everglades is home to 68 threatened or endangered species!
See our Wetlands Loss and Recovery pages
Credit:  South Florida Water Management District

Understanding the Endangered Species Act (Earth Justice)
Including links to pledge your support to protect the Endangered Species Act, information on legislation that would weaken the Endangered Species Act, and Citizens' Guide to the Endangered Species Act, and an online publication of "30 Years of the Endangered Species Act" (a large PDF file) containing information on species whose odds of survival have been improved by the Endangered Species Act.

Endangered Species Coalition  
Stop extinction!  Information about the Endangered Species Act.  Click on their links for other resources, and check out their News page for links to publications and news updates regarding endangered species.  The Endangered Species Coalition is a national network of 360 conservation organizations, scientific associations, religious organizations, hunting and fishing associations, businesses, community organizations, humane societies, student groups, and concerned citizens working to protect endangered species and habitat.

Center for Plant Conservation - Recovering America's Vanishing Flora
The Center's National Collection of Endangered Plants contains plant material for more than 600 of the United States' most imperiled native plants.  This serves as a backup in the event a species becomes extinct or is no longer able to reproduce in the wild.

Purple Foxglove

Medicinal treatments for heart conditions
were derived from extracts of this plant.

Rainforest
Vast areas of the tropical rainforests are
rapidly disappearing - and with them,
untold numbers of undiscovered
and endangered species.

Millennium Seed Bank  
The United Kingdom's Millennium Seed Bank, run by the Royal Botanic Gardens, is the largest global plant diversity conservation project of its kind in the world.  Millions of seeds designated as in danger will be stored in a specially-designed underground site in an attempt to save 24,000 plant species from extinction. (BBC News report)
Royal Botanic Gardens
Information on the seed bank, science, horticulture, collections, conservation, wildlife and taxonomic resources.

Florida Bog Frog
Very rare species of frog found in only a small area of western Florida.
Picture of the Florida Bog Frog (The Center for North American Herpetology)

Species disappearing at an alarming rate - World Conservation Union Report (MSNBC News, 11/17/04)

Non-Native Invasive Species - the second greatest threat in the loss of plant and animal species and biodiversity.

Ivory-billed woodpecker not extinct  (CNN, April 28, 2005)
Conservationists Worldwide Celebrate Rediscovery of Ivory-billed Woodpecker
(Audubon)
Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, thought to be extinct, is alive and has been sighted in Arkansas woods
Logging and hunting caused a severe decline in this species, and the last confirmed sighting had been in Louisiana in the 1940s.

Fluorescent proteins found in coral reefs may lead to health cures
Scientists are using these glowing proteins to monitor and study processes associated with many diseases, including cancer, AIDS and Alzheimer's.  The search is on to discover more fluorescent proteins, as coral reefs are suffering great decline.
"Corals are some of the most endangered organisms on the Earth.  There are thousands of different kinds of coral, and many are headed for near extinction."

National Geographic (January 12, 2005)

Bringing Back the Whoopers
Rare Whooping Cranes had dwindled to  only 15 birds by 1941.  That is almost extinct!
Now there numbers are increasing with the help of humans.  But, how do you get young whooping cranes to find their way to new habitat over 1,000 miles away (with no whooping crane parents to show them the way or how to survive)?  No, they don't have maps.  Instead of following their parents as migratory birds normally do, these young cranes follow planes!  Recovery teams in crane costumes are teaching new flocks of whooping cranes how to find food, survive, and then to follow them in ultralight aircraft and migrate south for the winter.  The cranes will learn the migration route so they can return north on their own in the spring.

bringbackthecranes.org 
(read this overview of the project and then click on their Home page)

Cloud Forests Fading in the Mist, Their Treasures Little Known
Evergreen mountain forests provide vastly important functions by capturing and filtering water that feeds rivers systems, and they are huge storehouses of biodiversity - much of which we know nothing about.  Biologists warn cloud forests are disappearing at a rapid rate, and the complexity of the ecological interactions and intricate mix of lifeforms that maintain healthy ecosystems like these cannot be restored.  Scientists are needed to work in cloud forests to help catalog and preserve the biodiversity of species.

National Geographic

Wild Places  
Click on Endangered America which will bring up a small window with a clickable map (click Start).  Click on a region and then go into the complete list of U.S. endangered species, broken down into 7 regions (which opens in another new window).  Click on various regions and then specific areas to see detailed listings.  When finished reviewing the lists, close the windows.

ES2000 - Endangered Species of the Next Millennium 
"By endangering wildlife, we are endangering ourselves."
Causes of extinction, species profiles, current worldwide situation, basic biology, preservation, 
consumer awareness, media gallery, facts, quotes, and reforming the human economic system 
"in order to establish a sustainable society."  (A Think Quest Project)

Endangered Species (EELink) - Links provided to information on the Web

Go to Photos page  Photos links

This tiger is endangered
She has lost her habitat

Would you like to go with her and see how we might help?
(click here and follow the tiger)


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