Endangered Species

Why Are Animals Endangered?

Manatee in water

Humans are the main source of the extinction of animals. We have been building on lands that animals call home. Fish live in oceans, beavers live in woods, eagles live in trees. Where they live is their habitat. Here is a list of what causes extinction:

  1. Poaching
  2. Losing Habitat
  3. Overharvesting
  4. Pollution
  5. Invasive Species
  6. Climate Change


Humans are taking wild animals every day to sell and trade for. Poaching is most severe in Africa where there are many rare species, but poachers are even getting into protected wildlife areas. They want elephants for their powerful ivory tusks, pangolins for their shielded armor scales, and rhinos for their strong horns.

Losing Habitat

Humans are moving and creating buildings where animals live. When that happens animals have to adapt to the new habitat, or move to a new place. Pigeons had to adapt to live in city buildings instead of forests.The ocean is not only important to animals, but for us too. We get fish, water, and even oxygen from the ocean.


The fishing industry is increasing the amount of fish caught because of high demand and high-level fishing gear.


If you look around pollution is everywhere. In the city there is smoke, pollen, and littering. The ocean is a bit different. Even though there may be more water than pollution, there's enough littering there to harm many animals. Here's a list of what harm they do to the sea life:

  1. Dolphins get stuck in bottle rings and starve to death
  2. Sea turtles mistake plastic for jellyfish and eat that instead
  3. Sea turtles get tangled in fishing nets
  4. Sea turtles get stuck in fishing hooks and sometimes swallow them
  5. Whales are swallowing plastic

Isn't that enough to tell you that there's a lot of pollution out there? Use re-usable bottles instead of one-use ones and do not litter wherever you are, it makes a difference!

Invasive Species

Invasive species don't have to be from another country, but they most often are. For example, trout are native to the Great Lakes but are considered invasive to the Yellowstone River. Fire ants from China have been invading the US by traveling on lumber ships and making small, perfect holes in trees and destroying the forests.

Climate Change

The Earth's average temperature has increased about 2 degrees Fahrenheit during the 20th century. That may seem like a small amount, but that's a big change to the world. Ice, glaciers, and even the frost is decreasing and melting. Amounts of water has been increasing normally since the 1900 but some areas have been increasing too much or too little.