How to Help Endangered Species
There are nearly 42,000 endangered species in the world according to the IUCN Red List of endangered species. Within the last 500 years there have been over 800 species that have become extinct. According to endangeredearth.com there are several species that are in jeopardy including:
- 1 out of every 8 birds
- 1 out of every 4 mammals
- 1 out of every 3 amphibians
Below is a list of the most endangered species along with a list of organizations that help them and how you can get involved in the fight to save their lives.
- American Bison: Also known as the Wood Bison or Wood Buffalo. It's been registered on the endangered species list since 2008, and can now only be found in Canada. Historically the population had been over 160,000 but was reduced to less than 250 in 1900 due to hunting.
- American Crocodile: The American Crocodile is very large and can grow up to 20 feet in length, weighing anywhere from 1,000-2,300 pounds. They inhabit both saltwater and freshwater habitats. It is now legally protected against hunting. Most of the population loss is due to habitat loss and pollution.
- Asian Elephant: Also known as the Indian Elephant, it's smaller than the African Elephant, with males weighing approximately 11,000 pounds. There are an estimated 45,000 of these alive today throughout the forested areas in Asia.
- Asiatic Black Bear: This bear is also commonly referred to as the Tibetan Black Bear and Moon Bear. It's endangered in several countries including Japan, China, Korea, Russia, and Vietnam. It's hunted for its skin and has declined due to hunting and loss of habitat.
- Bighorn Sheep: The Bighorn Sheep has been endangered in the state of California since 1998. They can also be found in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, North Dakota and Utah. Their preferred habitat is wooded slopes or rocky canyons.
- Brown Bear: Brown Bears are endangered in Mexico, Tibet and Italy, and can also be found throughout North America and Europe. They can live in a wide variety of habitats and can grow up to 9-feet weighing 1,500 pounds.
- California Condor: The California Condor is endangered in Arizona, Oregon and California. In the early 1980s the population almost reached extinction and was less than 25 total. Today there are approximately 200.
- Cougar: Cougars are also known as Mountain Lions and Pumas. They have been endangered since 1973. Cougars can be found in North, South and Central America. It does rather well in captivity and is related to the house cat.
- Gray Wolf: The Gray Wolf is commonly referred to as the Timber Wolf, Arctic Wolf and Tundra Wolf. Endangered in the United States and Mexico, there used to be over 2 million worldwide but now the population is estimated to be fewer than 200,000.
- Ivory-Billed Woodpecker: These sub-species of woodpecker are endangered in the USA and Cuba. They were listed as extinct until a male was found in Arkansas in 2004.
- Jaguar: Jaguars are often mistaken as Leopards. Endangered in the United States and Mexico, the population has dwindled due to hunting and habitat loss.
- Steelhead: Also known as Rainbow Trout and Redband Trout, the Steelhead is endangered in North America. They're found in lakes, streams and coastal waters less than 35 feet deep. Population decline is a result of poor feeding conditions and ocean net fishing.
- Steller Sea Lion: Endangered in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Canada. They're the largest of all Sea Lions and Seals, reaching up to 11-feet and 2,500 pounds. Accidental capture in fishnets has caused the population decline.
- White Sturgeon: This fish is found off the Pacific coast in North America and is endangered in British Columbia, Idaho and Montana. An adult can weigh an astonishing 1,500 pounds, be as long as 15-feet., and live to be over 100 years. The species has declined due to over fishing and habitat destruction.
- Wood Stork: Also known as the Wood Ibis and Flint Head. Endangered in the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, an adult male stands about 3 1/2 feet tall. Less than 6,000 pairs remain from a population that was once above 20,000.
Endangered Species Organizations
With a presence in over 100 countries, the WWF receives support from over 5 million people worldwide. The organization is dedicated to protecting natural areas and species through advocacy, sustainable development and pollution reduction.
Through their network of 500+ chapters, the NAS is dedicated to preserving and restoring natural ecosystems and their inhabitants, with a focus on birds. They combine science, education and policy advocacy to fight against harmful uses of land and habitat.
The NWF's mission is to protect wildlife throughout the United States. As the county’s largest conservation organization with over 4 million members, the NWF has regional centers and affiliates in almost every state.
Founded in 1895, the WCS currently manages over 500 conservation projects in more than 60 countries. They're committed to protecting 25% of the world’s biodiversity, but their original mission was protecting the American Bison.
The ESC is a nationwide network of scientists, educators, businesses, policymakers and animal lovers who work together to protect the endangered species and their habitats throughout the world.
IUCN helps nations find global solutions to protect the environment and its inhabitants. Supported by a staff of over 1,000 people in over 60 offices worldwide, its headquarters are located in Gland, Switzerland. The IUCN has over 1,000 partner organizations and a network of 6,000 volunteer scientists.
AZA is dedicated to wildlife conservation through education, science, and environmental stewardship. They're also the accreditation group that visits zoos and aquariums making sure that parks are up to code and animals are being treated humanely.