There are many important issues facing the world today, but one that often gets overlooked is the need to protect our endangered species around the world. An endangered species is any creature that is in danger of becoming extinct…and once that happens, there’s no coming back! We need to keep our valuable animals from being lost forever, so that future generations will have the opportunity to experience these amazing creatures!
When you think of extinct animals, you may imagine dinosaurs or mammoths, or some other creature that disappeared thousands or even millions of years ago. But sadly, extinction is still happening today! Animals like the Golden Toad and the Baiji River Dolphin have only recently been declared extinct, and nearly 70% of biologists surveyed believe we are currently undergoing a present day mass extinction due mainly to human activity. This is referred to as the Holocene Extinction.
But all is not lost! We can work to protect our endangered species from succumbing to extinction through conservation efforts. To do so, we need to look at what causes an animal to be endangered in the first place. Things like poaching and overfishing, habitat loss, and pollution all cause harm to animal populations. To prevent these destructive practices, agencies and laws have been created that are dedicated to preserving our precious endangered animals. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) was created in 1948 to help determine which animals were in dire need of protecting, and focuses on conservation efforts to halt the march toward extinction. In the United States, the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973 to help protect vulnerable animal species.
Practices like captive breeding, habitat preservation and private farming can help save our endangered animals. Captive breeding involves breeding in a controlled environment like a wildlife reserve or a dedicated facility, and has been used to increase numbers in animals like the California condor. Habitat preservation involves halting behaviors like deforestation that can destroy animals’ place to live. Private farming is the process of breeding certain species in privately owned farms (or landlocked tanks in the case of fish) in order to increase numbers for commercial use, rather than overhunting or overfishing wild populations.
Since endangered animals can be difficult to observe in the wild due to their reduced numbers, you can always head to a zoo or aquarium to observe them up close. You can also encounter them in our TOOBS®! The Mountain Gorilla, Black Rhino and Bengal Tiger are just some of the vulnerable species featured in our Endangered Species – Land TOOB®, while the Whale Shark, Marine Iguana, Galapagos Penguin and more can be found in our Endangered Species – Marine TOOB®. Check them out today to immerse yourself in the world of these amazing creatures!