An endangered species is a population of organisms which is facing a high risk of becoming extinct because it is either few in numbers, or threatened by changing environmental or predation parameters. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has calculated the percentage of endangered species.
Many nations have laws offering protection to conservation reliant species: for example, forbidding hunting, restricting land development or creating preserves.
Only a few of the many species at risk of extinction actually make it to the lists and obtain legal protection like Pandas. Many more species become extinct, or potentially will become extinct, without gaining public notice.
The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that endangered species becoming extinct. Many factors are taken into account when assessing the conservation status of a species, including statistics such as the number remaining, the overall increase or decrease in the population over time, breeding success rates, known threats, and so on. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the best-known worldwide conservation status listing and ranking system.
It has been estimated that over 40% of all living species on Earth are at risk of going extinct. Internationally, 199 countries have signed an accord agreeing to create Biodiversity Action Plans to protect endangered and other threatened species. In the United States this plan is usually called a species Recovery Plan.
IUCN Red List.
IUCN Red List refers to a specific category of threatened species, and may include critically endangered species. The IUCN Red List uses the term endangered species as a specific category of imperilment, rather than as a general term. Under the IUCN Categories and Criteria, endangered species is between critically endangered and vulnerable. Also critically endangered species may also be counted as endangered species and fill all the criteria
The more general term used by the IUCN for species at risk of extinction is threatened species, which also includes the less-at-risk category of vulnerable species together with endangered and critically endangered.
IUCN categories, and some animals in those categories, include:
Extinct: Examples: Thylacine, Dinosaurs, Pterosaurs, Javan Tiger, Dodo, Great Auk, Passenger Pigeon, Carolina Parakeet, Caribbean Monk Seal, Steller's Sea Cow, Aurochs, Elephant Bird, Moa, Haast's Eagle, Woolly Mammoth, Woolly Rhinoceros,Short-faced bear, Saber-toothed cat, Dusky Seaside Sparrow, Golden Toad, Toolache Wallaby, Western Black Rhinoceros, Zanzibar Leopard, Bali Tiger, Caspian Tiger, Atlas bear Extinct in the wild: captive individuals survive, but there is no free-living, natural population. Examples: Hawaiian Crow, Wyoming Toad, Spix's Macaw (maybe critically endangered), Socorro Dove, Scimitar Oryx, Catarina Pupfish, Barbary Lion (maybe extinct)
Critically endangered: faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the immediate future. Examples: Mountain Gorilla, Chinese Giant Salamander, Bactrian Camel, Ethiopian Wolf, Saiga, Takhi, Iberian Lynx, Kakapo, Arakan Forest Turtle, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Javan Rhino, Brazilian Merganser, Axolotl, Leatherback Sea Turtle, Northern White Rhinoceros (maybe extinct in the wild), Gharial, Vaquita, Philippine Eagle, Brown Spider Monkey, California Condor, Island Fox, Chinese Alligator, Sumatran Orangutan, Asiatic Cheetah, African Wild Ass, Hawaiian Monk Seal, Mediterranean Monk Seal, Red Wolf, Amur Leopard, Spix's Macaw (maybe extinct in the wild), Siamese Crocodile, Addax,
Endangered: faces a very high risk of extinction in the near future. Examples: Dhole, Blue Whale, Asian Elephant, Giant Panda, Snow Leopard, African Wild Dog, Green Sea Turtle, Malayan Tapir, Asiatic Lion, Tiger, Steller's Sea Lion, Markhor, Bornean Orangutan, Grevy's Zebra, Tasmanian Devil, Japanese Crane, Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Bonobo, Wild Water Buffalo, African Penguin, Goliath Frog, Lear's Macaw, Rothschild Giraffe, Giant Otter, Pygmy Hippopotamus, Hyacinth Macaw, Volcano Rabbit, Proboscis Monkey, Persian Leopard
Vulnerable: faces a high risk of extinction in the medium-term. Examples: African Elephant, Cheetah, Gaur, Lion, Sloth Bear, Dugong, Polar Bear, Indian Rhinoceros, Komodo Dragon, Great White Shark, Hippopotamus, Mandrill, Fossa, Crowned Crane, Clouded Leopard, Far Eastern Curlew, Galapagos Tortoise, Mountain Zebra, Humboldt Penguin, Golden Hamster, Maned Sloth, Red Panda, Takin, Yak
Near threatened: may be considered threatened in the near future. Examples: Eurasian Curlew, Blue-billed Duck, Solitary Eagle, American Bison, Jaguar, Leopard, Maned Wolf, Tiger Shark, Southern White Rhinoceros, Okapi, African Grey Parrot, Striped Hyena, Narwhal, Magellanic Penguin, Asian Golden Cat
Least concern: no immediate threat to the survival of the species. Examples: Common Wood Pigeon, Rock Pigeon, Giraffe, Brown Bear, Grey Wolf, House Mouse, Scarlet Macaw, Platypus, Bald Eagle, Brown Rat, Cane Toad, Humpback Whale, Emperor Penguin, American Crow , Baboon, Human, Mute Swan, Mallard, Red-tailed Hawk, Indian Peafowl, American Alligator, Southern Elephant Seal, Meerkat, Cougar, Brown-throated sloth, Eurasian Lynx, Leopard Cat
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