Endangered Species: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Elizabeth Foster

Elizabeth has been involved with tutoring since high school and has a B.A. in Classics.

Learn about species that are endangered, or in danger of going extinct. The Red List names all the endangered species in the world and tells you how much danger they're in. Endangered species include pandas, jaguars, bluefin tuna, and many other animals.

Endangered Species

When you're outside in the summer being eaten alive by mosquitoes, you might wish you could kill every single mosquito in the world. They're so annoying! Sadly, mosquitoes aren't in any danger of dying out, but some kinds of animals are. They're called endangered species. And sadly, most endangered species aren't annoying like mosquitoes; they're cool animals like tigers and wolves.

You can tell what 'endangered' means just by saying it out loud. 'Endangered' sounds like 'in danger,' and that's exactly what it means. When a species is endangered, it's in danger of disappearing, or going extinct. If a species goes extinct, it means there are no more animals of that species still alive.

Why are Some Species Endangered?

Most endangered species are in trouble because of people. People are doing things likeā€¦

  • Hunting animals for food or entertainment. For example, the black rhinoceros is endangered because people hunt and kill them for sport. The bluefin tuna is endangered because people hunt them and kill them for food.
  • Destroying the places where animals live. For example, pandas need to live in bamboo forests, because bamboo is the only thing that pandas can eat. Pandas are endangered because people are cutting down bamboo forests to build roads.

Sumatran tiger

Sometimes, an animal is endangered for both reasons. For example, the Sumatran tiger only lives in forests on the island of Sumatra. People are cutting down those forests to build farms, so they're destroying the only place where the tigers can live. People also hunt the tigers and kill them. So the tigers are in double trouble.

The Endangered Species List

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN for short) keeps a list called the Red List of which species are endangered. The list has different levels:

  • Critically endangered: very high risk of going extinct. Black rhinos, Sumatran tigers, and some other species are critically endangered.
  • Endangered: high risk of going extinct. Blue whales, chimpanzees, and some other species are endangered.
  • Vulnerable: at risk of being endangered. Cheetahs, polar bears, and some other species are vulnerable.
  • Near threatened: not in trouble yet, but might be in the future. Jaguars, Emperor penguins, and some other species are near threatened.
  • Least concern: doing fine and not in any danger. Most species of frogs, rats, sparrows, and common animals are species of least concern.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account