March 1st, 2010
As earth-friendly people, we strive to make sure that not only is the world in good shape for future generations, but also that the animals that live in it are protected. Our actions shouldn’t harm them, but all too often they do. And we never realize it.
Earlier this year, WWF announced their list of the most threatened species of 2010.
It’s called the “Ten to Watch in 2010.”
Scientists at WWF say that the selected species are at greater risk than ever before due to habitat loss, poaching and climate change-related threats.
Learning why these animals are in danger really puts the problem of climate change in better focus.
The 10 Most Threatened Species of 2010
Tiger. Threatened by accelerating deforestation and rampant poaching, tigers may now number as few as 3,200 in the wild.
Polar Bear. If warming trends in the Arctic continue, the bear may go extinct within the next century.
Pacific Walrus. Since they use floating ice for predator protection and resting, as well as birthing and nursing calves, these animals are in danger from climate change.
Magellanic Penguin. Since fish are being displaced by warming ocean currents, these birds must swim farther to find food.
Leatherback Turtle. Rising sea levels and higher temperatures on Atlantic beaches create a new threat to these turtles. As nest temperature affects the sex of offspring, warming may continue to reduce the number of males born.
Bluefin Tuna. Unsustainable fishing practices in the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean threaten the existence of this fish.
Mountain Gorilla. Threats from war, poaching and loss of habitat leave these animals near extinction with numbers estimated at around 720 in the wild.
Monarch Butterfly. Conservation of this butterfly’s habitats in the US, Canada and Mexico is crucial.
Javan Rhinoceros. It’s considered the most endangered large mammal in the world with less than 60 known to exist in the wild. They’re threatened by the conversion of forest habitat to farmland.
Giant Panda. Habitat protection is needed to avoid extinction for these animals living in small, isolated populations.
Visit WWF to learn more about protecting endangered animals.
(Image via stock.xchng)
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