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Endangered Species in Canada: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Tawnya Eash

Tawnya has a master's degree in early childhood education and teaches all subjects at an elementary school.

Many species of plants and animals are endangered around the world. In this lesson, you are going to learn about species specific to Canada. Let's take a look at what species need help and how they can be helped.

Endangered Animals in Canada

Do you think it's important to help plants and animals?

In Canada, certain species need help. More than 400 animal species and 200 plant species have been placed 'at risk' in Canada. This means these species could become extinct, or not exist anymore.

Before species can be helped, their risks need to be identified. The Canadian government passed the Species at Risk Act, which allows for scientific experts to identify the various levels species reach before extinction.

Take a look:

  • Extinct - no longer exists
  • Extirpated - no longer living in Canada, but could be somewhere else
  • Endangered - at risk of becoming extirpated or extinct
  • Threatened - at risk of becoming endangered
  • Special Concern - at risk of becoming threatened

The chart shows some endangered species.

Endangered Species in Canada
Canada

Take a look at some other species that are endangered in Canada:

Birds

  • Whooping Crane
  • Harlequin Duck
  • Spotted Owl
  • Piping Plover

Mammals

  • Peary Caribou
  • Eastern Cougar

Reptiles

  • Blue Racer Snake
  • Lake Erie Water Snake

Fish

  • Salish Sucker
  • Aurora Trout

Plants

There is an extensive list of plant species that are endangered. Here are just a few:

  • Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus
  • Southern Maidenhair Fern
  • Western Fringed Prairie Orchid
  • Wood Poppy

Why Animals Are Endangered

You might be wondering, why this is happening to species in Canada. There are numerous factors or causes that put plant and animal species at risk of becoming extinct. Although some causes are natural and can't be controlled, humans and their actions play a major role in endangered species.

Take a look at the image to see specific factors.

Factors Putting Species at Risk
Factors Causing Endangerment

Let's take a look at what's happening to three specific animals:

Sea Otter

Sea otters used to be hunted for their pelts, or fur-covered skin. Hunters would sell the pelts for money. The sea otter was close to extinction until it was protected. Now, they are on the comeback!

Peregrine Falcon

Chemical pesticides were used by farmers to keep insects off their crops. These chemicals caused the egg shells of the peregrine falcon to lose calcium, the same thing our bodies need for strong bones. The shells became so brittle that, before hatching, they broke when the falcon sat on them. The pesticides that caused this to happen can no longer be made or used, and now the population of falcons is increasing.

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