There are 1,436 endangered species in the United States alone. (2) Every species depends on the survival of another, so what happens if one goes extinct? Every organism is affected in one way or another, and it is definitely not a positive affect. There are various terms to describe the status of these animals, just as there are many factors that played into them reaching that status. The extinction of an organism affects everything that the organism at hand comes into contact with directly and indirectly. That is true everywhere, even in your own backyard. There are also many methods discussed and practiced to counteract the extinction of species, but some are not near as successful as others. Though extinction is natural, it is important that we are not the cause of it, and that we do everything in our power to keep it from occurring.
What is “endangered”?
What is an endangered species though? To be considered an endangered species, the population of that species must be so small that it is at risk of going extinct. (2) Extinct is when a species is completely wiped out, and being declared extinct takes a long period of time. The species at question is only declared extinct when it has gone many years without being seen by anyone. (2) A species cannot be listed as endangered until the chance of recovery is very low. (4) Before a species reaches the point of being considered endangered, they are listed as threatened. A threatened species’ population must be low enough that could soon be at risk of being endangered, however there is not a specific number that applies to all species. (2, 5) There are five criteria when considered a species to be declared as endangered: significant decline in population, a decrease in...
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...at 1,436 endangered species, will be dropped down to a much smaller number.
1. Callaway, E. 2011. Could stem cells rescue an endangered species? [Internet] Nature. Available from: www.nature.com/news/2011/110904/full/news.2011.517.html Accessed on: 24 September 2013.
2. Do Something [Internet]. 11 Facts about endangered species. Available from: http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-endangered-species Accessed on: 09 October 2013
3. Himebaugh, Glenn. Comeback bird. Tennessee Wildlife. 2011; 35(3): 6-8
4. Knapp, S. 2011. Rarity, species richness, and the threat of extinction – Are plants the same as animals? PLoS Biol. 9(5): e1001067. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001067
5. Neel, M.C., Leidner, A.K., Haines, A., Goble, D.D., Scott, J.M. 2012. By the numbers: How is recovery defined by the US Endangered Species Act? Bioscience. 62:646-657
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