Endangered Animal Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

Endangered species are animals who are on their way to becoming extinct. The number of endangered species is growing every day. Learn the common causes of endangered species and what you can do to help!

What are Endangered Species?

Think about all of the different animals that we have on the earth today. Dogs, cats, birds, cows, horses… the list goes on and on! Can you imagine if one of these animals just went away? This is known as becoming extinct and it is happening all over the world each and every day. If an animal is in danger of becoming extinct, it is considered to be an endangered species. There are almost 1,000 different endangered species in the world, and about 450 of them live in the United States.

Causes of Endangered Species

Pollution on a beach

There are several different reasons why a species might become endangered, and some of these reasons are caused by humans. One reason is loss of habitat. Natural habitats, such as forests, are rapidly decreasing as the human population is tearing down forests to build shopping centers and parking lots. Pollution is another leading cause of endangered animals. Air, water, and land pollution can harm animals by destroying their environment. Another way that humans cause species to become endangered is through poaching. Poaching is the illegal form of hunting for animals so that people can use them for their horns, fur or meat. Poachers sell the pieces of the dead animal for profit.

There are additional causes of endangered species that are not directly caused by humans. Natural changes occur in the environment, which can make it difficult for certain species of animals to survive. For example, introduction of new animals to an area can cause endangered animals, as well as global warming.

Examples of Endangered Species

Pandas are endangered

As previously mentioned, there are about 1,000 endangered species worldwide. However, these are the only species that have been reported. Scientists suspect that there are tens of thousands of additional endangered species that become extinct before they are ever reported. Some of the most well-known endangered species include the bald eagle, panda bear, orangutan, humpback whale, and snow leopard.

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