Endangered species are those considered to be at risk of extinction, meaning that there are so few left of their kind that they could disappear from the planet altogether. Endangered species are threatened by factors such as habitat loss, hunting, disease and climate change, and usually, endangered species, have a declining population or a very limited range.
The current rate of extinction is thought to be far greater than the expected natural rate, with many species going extinct before they have even been discovered. Shockingly, current estimates suggest that a third of the world’s amphibians, a quarter of all mammals and one in eight birds are endangered.
Endangered species usually have a small or declining population size or a very limited range, meaning factors such as habitat loss, hunting, disease or climate change could cause them to disappear completely within our lifetimes.
The alarming rate at which species are disappearing is something which should be a cause for concern for us all. Not only do they add beauty and wonder to the natural world, they are also of great global economic importance. A great diversity of species maintains the ecosystems essential to our existence by helping to regulate our climate and by providing:
- clean air and water
- building and clothing materials
- fertile soils
With so many species at risk of extinction, the ARKive project is working to help raise the public profile of the world's endangered species, through the emotive power of wildlife films and photos. The ARKive project hopes to engage people with the natural world. We will only succeed in rescuing species from the brink of extinction if people know about their plight, importance and value.