When we talk about endangered species, we mean an organism with population numbers so low that it is in danger of becoming extinct. While extinction is a natural process that has been happening throughout time (think dinosaurs, mammoths, sabre-toothed tigers), the rate of present day extinctions are alarming.
Why The Increase In Endangered Species?
Some scientists calculate present day extinction rate for plants and animals to be 1000 to 10000 higher than the natural “background rate” with dozens of species going extinct daily. What is causing this surge in extinctions?
Scientists believe that 99% of current endangered and threatened species are at risk of extinction because of human activities. These activities include habitat destruction, spread of disease, pollution, introduction of non-native species, hunting, and global warming.
Why Learn About Endangered Species?
Each ecosystem on Earth is full of life that lives together symbiotically. This means that each one is needed for the survival and prosperity of the others. When an organism is removed, it is up to another to fill its role or the rest of the ecosystem will feel the effects. We need to understand that biodiversity is important.
Endangered species in such large numbers are our environmental canaries in the coal mine. They are indicators of problems in the ecosystem. Learning about these organisms and their role in nature can help us not only bring back their populations, but help to end the factors that threatened them in the first place.
Don’t forget to download the FREE Animal Research printable pages. They are engaging, fun, and ready to use with any animal-related study. Enter your email below, and we’ll send you the free resource.
5 Endangered Species
Here are 5 endangered species we have studied in our homeschool. Hopefully, these will help your children develop and appreciation of biodiversity and an understanding of why endangered species should cause us concern. Click on each animal link to go to its lesson page.
BUT FIRST, if you have not downloaded the free Animal Report pages, go ahead and request thm to make a fun, engaging study of endangered species.