Essay on Myanmar Star Tortoise

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100 Words Essay on Myanmar Star Tortoise


The Myanmar Star Tortoise is a unique creature found in Myanmar, a country in Southeast Asia. It’s known for its star-like patterns on its shell, which gives it its name.

Physical Appearance

This tortoise is small to medium-sized, usually between 25 to 30 cm long. Its shell is high-domed and has distinct star-like patterns. These patterns are yellow on a black background, making them easily noticeable.

The Myanmar Star Tortoise lives in dry, deciduous forests. They prefer areas with sandy soil, where they can bury themselves to avoid extreme temperatures and predators.

These tortoises are herbivores, meaning they eat plants. Their diet mainly consists of grasses, fruits, and leaves. Sometimes, they also eat flowers and stems.

The Myanmar Star Tortoise faces several threats. Habitat loss and illegal pet trade are the main dangers. Because of these threats, the species is currently classified as critically endangered.

Conservation Efforts

Efforts are being made to protect the Myanmar Star Tortoise. These include habitat protection, breeding programs, and law enforcement to stop illegal trading. With these efforts, there is hope for this unique tortoise’s future.

250 Words Essay on Myanmar Star Tortoise

The Myanmar Star Tortoise is a unique creature. It’s one of the many types of tortoises found on our planet. This tortoise is special because it is only found in Myanmar, a country in Southeast Asia.

The Myanmar Star Tortoise is famous for its shell. The shell is a dark color, with bright, star-shaped patterns. This is why it is called a “star” tortoise. The tortoise is not very big. It is usually about 25 centimeters long.

This tortoise likes to live in dry areas. It can be found in forests and grasslands in Myanmar. It likes to hide in the grass and under bushes during the hot days.

The Myanmar Star Tortoise eats a lot of different things. It likes to eat plants, like grass and leaves. It also eats fruits and vegetables. Sometimes, it will eat insects and other small animals.

The Myanmar Star Tortoise is in danger. People are taking them from their homes in the wild. They are sold as pets or for their shells. This is making the number of tortoises go down very fast.

Many people are working hard to help the Myanmar Star Tortoise. They are making sure that the tortoises are safe in the wild. They are also trying to make more tortoises by breeding them in safe places.

In conclusion, the Myanmar Star Tortoise is a beautiful and unique creature. It is important that we help to protect it, so that future generations can enjoy its beauty too.

500 Words Essay on Myanmar Star Tortoise

About the myanmar star tortoise.

The Myanmar Star Tortoise is a unique creature. It is a kind of tortoise that is found in Myanmar, a country in Asia. The tortoise got its name from the star-like patterns on its shell. These patterns are usually yellow or cream in color and they stand out against the dark color of the shell. This makes the tortoise very easy to spot.

Size and Lifespan

The Myanmar Star Tortoise is not a very large animal. It can grow up to about 12 inches long. That’s about the size of a ruler! This tortoise is also known to live for a long time. It can live up to 30 to 80 years. That’s longer than most pets!

What They Eat

These tortoises are herbivores, which means they only eat plants. They like to eat a variety of plants including grasses, fruits, and vegetables. Their favorite foods include cactus pads, bell peppers, and watermelon. They also need to eat a lot of fiber to stay healthy.

Where They Live

Myanmar Star Tortoises like to live in dry and open areas. They are found in the central dry zone of Myanmar. They like places with lots of grass and shrubs because these plants are their food. They also like to have a lot of sun and a little bit of shade.

Threats to Their Survival

Sadly, the Myanmar Star Tortoise is in danger. People are taking them from the wild to sell as pets or for their beautiful shells. This is causing their numbers to go down. They are now considered a critically endangered species. This means there are not many of them left in the wild.

There are people who are working hard to help the Myanmar Star Tortoise. They are trying to protect them and their homes. They are also breeding them in safe places and then putting them back into the wild. This is helping to increase their numbers.

In conclusion, the Myanmar Star Tortoise is a unique and beautiful creature that needs our help. We need to do everything we can to protect them and their homes. We need to make sure that future generations can also enjoy the beauty of these amazing creatures.

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endangered species in myanmar essay

  • Endangered Animals of Myanmar

A fish-eating crocodile.

Endangered species refer to animals or plants who are facing the danger of extinction. Sometimes animals can become endangered due to natural causes such as drought or flooding. However, in most cases it is as a result of human activities such as forest fires, pollution, wildlife trade, urban settlements, and overgrazing. Many species in Myanmar are currently designated as critically endangered. These species include the fish-eating crocodile, sumatran rhinoceros and white-bellied heron.

The Myanmar Critically Endangered Species

Fish-eating crocodile.

The fish-eating crocodile, also scientifically known as Gavialis gangeticas, is the only surviving member of the Gavialidae family in Myanmar. It is a unique species of crocodile as it is the only one that is sexually dimorphic. The fish-eating crocodile has a breeding life of 50 years and a life span of 100 years. It is characterized by its long thin jaw, an elongated narrow snout and an average size that ranges from eleven to fifteen feet. It weighs between 159 and 181 kilograms. The crocodile is threatened by illegal poachers who seek to use its long jaw and eggs for medicinal purposes. The use of nets by farmers also leads to them being trapped. Once trapped, they are unable to open their mouths in the nets which can lead to death.

Sumatran Rhinoceros

The Sumatran rhinoceros, scientifically known as Dicerorhinus sumatrensi, has experienced severe declines of over 80% within three generations. It is one of the critically endangered species in Myanmar. The Sumatran rhinoceros is a shy species which only goes far from the protected areas in search of either salt licks or water. They have a longevity of 35-40 years. The main cause of their decreasing numbers is over-hunting of the rhino’s horns and other body parts for medicinal purposes.

White-bellied Heron

The white-bellied heron, scientifically called Ardea insignis, is mostly dark grey in color with a white throat and underparts. Its population has been dropping severely due to disturbance of its habitat and degradation of the riverside or wetland habitats. The white-bellied heron is 127 cm high making it the second largest heron on earth, after the Goliath heron. It is estimated that there are only 250 white-bellied herons in the world. It is therefore justified to have it on the 2007 IUCN Red List under the critically endangered species.

Efforts to protect the endangered species

There are several efforts that are being put in place in order to protect Myanmar's endangered species. One of them is the Gharial Breeding Center set up in Chitwan which seeks to multiply the number of fish-eating crocodiles as much as possible. Secondly, Myanmar has benefited from the Indian Ocean – South-East Asian (IOSEA) technical support program. This is a program which engages in capacity building by giving lectures and practical training of people in the Departments of Fisheries and Forestry in the Asian countries. Another way of protecting the endangered species has been through the inclusion of the sumatran rhinocerous on the CITES Appendix I. This makes it legally protected in all states. There are also ongoing efforts focused on developing managed breeding centres for the species. Lastly, there also exists a Myanmar Biodiversity initiative which brings together both the locals and international efforts towards nature conservation in Myanmar.

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Home — Essay Samples — Environment — Human Impact — Endangered Species

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Essays on Endangered Species

Endangered species essay topics and outline examples, essay title 1: vanishing wonders: the plight of endangered species and conservation efforts.

Thesis Statement: This essay explores the critical issue of endangered species, delving into the causes of endangerment, the ecological significance of these species, and the conservation strategies aimed at preserving them for future generations.

  • Introduction
  • Understanding Endangered Species: Definitions and Criteria
  • Causes of Endangerment: Habitat Loss, Climate Change, Poaching, and Pollution
  • Ecological Significance: The Role of Endangered Species in Ecosystems
  • Conservation Strategies: Protected Areas, Breeding Programs, and Legal Protections
  • Success Stories: Examples of Species Recovery and Reintroduction
  • Ongoing Challenges: Balancing Conservation with Human Needs
  • Conclusion: The Urgent Need for Global Action in Protecting Endangered Species

Essay Title 2: Beyond the Numbers: The Ethical and Moral Imperatives of Endangered Species Preservation

Thesis Statement: This essay examines the ethical dimensions of endangered species preservation, addressing questions of human responsibility, intrinsic value, and the moral imperative to protect and restore these species.

  • The Ethical Dilemma: Balancing Human Needs and Species Preservation
  • Intrinsic Value: Recognizing the Inherent Worth of All Species
  • Interconnectedness: Understanding the Ripple Effects of Species Loss
  • Human Responsibility: The Moral Imperative to Protect Endangered Species
  • Conservation Ethics: Ethical Frameworks and Philosophical Perspectives
  • Legislation and International Agreements: Legal Approaches to Ethical Conservation
  • Conclusion: Embracing Our Role as Stewards of Biodiversity

Essay Title 3: The Economic Value of Biodiversity: Endangered Species and Sustainable Development

Thesis Statement: This essay explores the economic aspects of endangered species conservation, highlighting the potential economic benefits of preserving biodiversity, sustainable ecotourism, and the long-term economic consequences of species loss.

  • Economic Importance of Biodiversity: Ecosystem Services and Human Well-being
  • Sustainable Ecotourism: How Endangered Species Can Drive Local Economies
  • Case Studies: Success Stories of Economic Benefits from Species Conservation
  • The Costs of Inaction: Economic Consequences of Species Extinction
  • Corporate Responsibility: Businesses and Conservation Partnerships
  • Balancing Economic Growth with Conservation: The Path to Sustainable Development
  • Conclusion: The Interplay Between Biodiversity, Economics, and a Sustainable Future

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Endangered Species in Vietnam: South China Tiger and Asian Elephant

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De-extinction Can Help to Protect Endangered Species

Protection of endangered species can help us to survive, the way zoos helps to protect endangered species, ways of protection endangered species, sharks demand protection just like endangered species, the reasons why the koala species is endangered, the issue of philippine eagle endangerment, the issue of conserving endangered animals in the jungles of southeast asia, primates research project: the bushmeat crisis, the negative impact of the food culture on the environment and jani actman article that fish on your dinner plate may be an endangered species, nesting and population ecology of western chimpanzee in bia conservation area, human impact on red panda populations , the impact of climate change on the antarctic region, the ethics of bengal tigers, poaching and the illegal trade.

Endangered species are living organisms that face a high risk of extinction in the near future. They are characterized by dwindling population numbers and a significant decline in their natural habitats. These species are vulnerable to various factors, including habitat destruction, pollution, climate change, overexploitation, and invasive species, which disrupt their ecological balance and threaten their survival.

The early stages of human civilization witnessed a relatively harmonious coexistence with the natural world. Indigenous cultures across the globe held deep reverence for the interconnectedness of all living beings, fostering a sense of stewardship and respect for the environment. Nevertheless, with the rise of industrialization and modernization, the exploitation of natural resources escalated at an unprecedented pace. The late 19th and early 20th centuries marked a turning point, as rapid urbanization, deforestation, pollution, and overhunting posed significant threats to numerous species. The dawn of globalization further accelerated these challenges, as international trade in exotic species intensified and habitats faced relentless encroachment. In response to this growing concern, conservation movements emerged worldwide. Influential figures such as John Muir, Rachel Carson, and Aldo Leopold championed the cause of environmental preservation, raising awareness about the fragility of ecosystems and the need for proactive measures. International conventions and treaties, such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), were established to regulate and monitor the trade of endangered species across borders. As our understanding of ecological dynamics deepened, scientific advancements and conservation efforts gained momentum. Endangered species recovery programs, habitat restoration initiatives, and the establishment of protected areas have all played a vital role in safeguarding vulnerable populations. However, the struggle to protect endangered species continues in the face of ongoing challenges. Climate change, habitat destruction, poaching, and illegal wildlife trade persist as formidable threats. Efforts to conserve endangered species require a multi-faceted approach, encompassing scientific research, policy development, sustainable practices, and international collaboration.

Leonardo DiCaprio: An acclaimed actor and environmental activist, DiCaprio has been an outspoken advocate for wildlife conservation. Through the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, he has supported various initiatives aimed at protecting endangered species and their habitats. Sigourney Weaver: Besides her notable acting career, Sigourney Weaver has been a passionate environmental activist. She has advocated for the protection of endangered species, particularly in her role as an honorary co-chair of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. Prince William: The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, has shown a deep commitment to wildlife conservation. He has actively supported initiatives such as United for Wildlife, which aims to combat the illegal wildlife trade and protect endangered species. Edward Norton: Actor and environmental activist Edward Norton has been actively involved in various conservation efforts. He co-founded the Conservation International's Marine Program and has been vocal about the need to protect endangered species and their habitats.

Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii) Javan Rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus) Vaquita (Phocoena sinus) Cross River Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli) Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) Yangtze River Dolphin (Lipotes vexillifer) Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)

1. Habitat Loss and Fragmentation 2. Climate Change 3. Pollution 4. Overexploitation and Illegal Wildlife Trade 5. Invasive Species 6. Disease and Pathogens 7. Lack of Conservation Efforts and Awareness 8. Genetic Issues 9. Natural Factors

The majority of the public recognizes the significance of conserving endangered species. Many people believe that it is our moral obligation to protect and preserve the Earth's diverse wildlife. They understand that losing species not only disrupts ecosystems but also deprives future generations of the natural beauty and ecological services they provide. Some individuals view endangered species conservation through an economic lens. They understand that wildlife and ecosystems contribute to tourism, provide ecosystem services like clean water and air, and support local economies. These economic arguments often align with conservation efforts, highlighting the potential benefits of protecting endangered species. Additionally, public opinion on endangered species is often shaped by awareness campaigns, education initiatives, and media coverage. Increased access to information about the threats faced by endangered species and the consequences of their decline has resulted in a greater understanding and concern among the public. Many people support the implementation and enforcement of laws and regulations aimed at protecting endangered species. They believe that legal frameworks are essential for ensuring the survival of vulnerable species and holding individuals and industries accountable for actions that harm wildlife. Moreover, individuals increasingly feel a sense of personal responsibility in addressing the issue of endangered species. This includes making conscious choices about consumption, supporting sustainable practices, and engaging in activities that contribute to conservation efforts, such as volunteering or donating to wildlife organizations. Public opinion can vary when it comes to instances where the protection of endangered species conflicts with human interests, such as land use, agriculture, or development projects. These situations can lead to debates and differing perspectives on how to balance conservation needs with other societal needs.

"Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson: Published in 1962, this influential book is credited with launching the modern environmental movement. Carson's seminal work highlighted the devastating impacts of pesticides, including their effects on wildlife and the environment. It drew attention to the need for conservation and sparked widespread concern for endangered species. "Gorillas in the Mist" by Dian Fossey: Fossey's book, published in 1983, chronicled her experiences studying and protecting mountain gorillas in Rwanda. It shed light on the challenges faced by these endangered primates and brought their conservation needs to the forefront of public consciousness. "March of the Penguins" (2005): This acclaimed documentary film depicted the annual journey of emperor penguins in Antarctica. By showcasing the hardships and perils these penguins face, the film garnered widespread attention and empathy for these remarkable creatures, raising awareness about their vulnerability and the impacts of climate change. "The Cove" (2009): This documentary exposed the brutal practice of dolphin hunting in Taiji, Japan. It not only brought attention to the mistreatment of dolphins but also highlighted the interconnectedness of species and the urgent need for their protection. "Racing Extinction" (2015): This documentary film by the Oceanic Preservation Society addressed the issue of mass species extinction and the human-driven factors contributing to it. It aimed to inspire viewers to take action and make positive changes to protect endangered species and their habitats.

1. It is estimated that around 26,000 species are currently threatened with extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 2. The illegal wildlife trade is the fourth largest illegal trade globally, following drugs, counterfeiting, and human trafficking. It is a significant contributor to species endangerment. 3. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reports that since 1970, global wildlife populations have declined by an average of 68%. 4. Habitat loss is the primary cause of species endangerment, with deforestation alone accounting for the loss of around 18.7 million acres of forest annually. 5. The poaching crisis has pushed some iconic species to the brink of extinction. For example, it is estimated that only about 3,900 tigers remain in the wild. 6. The Hawaiian Islands are considered the endangered species capital of the world, with more than 500 endangered or threatened species due to habitat loss and invasive species. 7. Coral reefs, one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, are under significant threat. It is estimated that 75% of the world's coral reefs are currently threatened, primarily due to climate change, pollution, and overfishing. 8. The illegal pet trade is a significant threat to many species. It is estimated that for every live animal captured for the pet trade, several die during capture or transport. 9. The IUCN Red List, a comprehensive inventory of the conservation status of species, currently includes more than 38,000 species, with approximately 28% of them classified as threatened with extinction.

The topic of endangered species holds immense importance for writing an essay due to several compelling reasons. Firstly, endangered species represent a vital component of the Earth's biodiversity, playing crucial roles in maintaining ecosystem balance and functioning. Exploring this topic allows us to understand the interconnectedness of species and their habitats, emphasizing the intricate web of life on our planet. Secondly, the issue of endangered species is a direct reflection of human impacts on the environment. It brings attention to the consequences of habitat destruction, climate change, pollution, and unsustainable practices. By studying this topic, we can delve into the root causes of species endangerment and contemplate the ethical and moral dimensions of our responsibility towards other living beings. Moreover, the plight of endangered species evokes strong emotional responses, prompting discussions on the intrinsic value of nature and our duty to conserve it for future generations. Writing about endangered species enables us to raise awareness, foster empathy, and advocate for sustainable practices and conservation initiatives.

1. Dudley, N., & Stolton, S. (Eds.). (2010). Arguments for protected areas: Multiple benefits for conservation and use. Earthscan. 2. Fearn, E., & Butler, C. D. (Eds.). (2019). Routledge handbook of eco-anxiety. Routledge. 3. Groombridge, B., & Jenkins, M. D. (2002). World atlas of biodiversity: Earth's living resources in the 21st century. University of California Press. 4. Hoekstra, J. M., Boucher, T. M., Ricketts, T. H., & Roberts, C. (2005). Confronting a biome crisis: Global disparities of habitat loss and protection. Ecology Letters, 8(1), 23-29. 5. Kiesecker, J. M., & Copeland, H. E. (Eds.). (2018). The biogeography of endangered species: Patterns and applications. Island Press. 6. Laurance, W. F., Sayer, J., & Cassman, K. G. (2014). Agricultural expansion and its impacts on tropical nature. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 29(2), 107-116. 7. Meffe, G. K., & Carroll, C. R. (Eds.). (1997). Principles of conservation biology. Sinauer Associates. 8. Primack, R. B. (2014). Essentials of conservation biology. Sinauer Associates. 9. Soulé, M. E., & Terborgh, J. (Eds.). (1999). Continental conservation: Scientific foundations of regional reserve networks. Island Press. 10. Wilson, E. O. (2016). Half-earth: Our planet's fight for life. Liveright Publishing.

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Burmese star tortoise: the stunning conservation success story in Myanmar

Burmese star tortoise: the stunning conservation success story in Myanmar

  • Nature Conservation
  • Iconic Species
  • Southeast Asian Forests
  • Indomalaya Realm

Lindsey Jean Schueman

One Earth’s “Species of the Week” series highlights an iconic species that represents the unique biogeography of each of the 185 bioregions of the Earth.

The harsh, dry forests of Myanmar are surprisingly home to the rarest and what many consider the most beautiful of all star tortoises. Named after the distinctive yellow radiating patterns on its black, domed shell, the Burmese star tortoise ( Geochelone platynota ) consumes a variety of grasses and leaves, helping its arid ecosystem bloom.

endangered species in myanmar essay

The Burmese star tortoise is the Iconic Species of the Irrawaddy & North Indochina Mixed Forests Bioregion ( IM11 ).

A star personality

A medium-sized tortoise, Burmese star tortoises grow to an average size of around 26-30 centimeters (10-12 in). Females tend to be larger than males and have the same brilliant pattern and coloring.

The Indian star tortoise is a close cousin to the Burmese. They can be easily distinguished as Burmese star tortoises have yellow heads and legs with some darker patches of color, while Indian stars tend to be more spotted-looking.

“Personality” -wise, when interacting with humans, Burmese star tortoises are typically less shy and livelier than the Indian star tortoises. Researchers associate Burmese as being active, intelligent, personable, and responsive, each having its own unique characteristics.


Dry forest gardeners

Little is known about Burmese star tortoises’ behavior in the wild. They have been observed active during the day, especially in the mornings and afternoons, despite their habitat's warm temperatures exceeding 37°C (100°F) in the summer.

Over 90% of the Burmese star tortoise’s diet consists of greens rich in fiber. Consuming coarse leaves, weeds, and mixed grasses in such a dry environment helps the vegetation regrow rather than wither in the heat and parched landscape.


Almost extinct

Critically endangered in conservation status, the Burmese starred tortoise’s fall and comeback are both due to human activity. Habitat loss and illegal collecting for the pet, medicine, and food trade all play a part in the tortoise’s population decline.

According to the Turtle Survival Alliance , the Burmese star tortoise was extinct from the wild in the mid-2000s. However, efforts by the Minzontaung Wildlife Sanctuary (MWS), Lawkananda Wildlife Sanctuary, and Yadanabon Zoo have turned into one of the greatest conservation achievements worldwide.


Conservation comeback

From an original conservation group of 200 individuals, the Burmese star tortoise population has since grown to over 14,000 tortoises. The program began by breeding the star tortoises in large numbers and then reintroducing them to the wild.

It has since expanded into translocating nests into the wild. Eggs are reburied in the sanctuaries, and hatchlings start their lives in nature independently. So far, the survival rate is about 50%.

In addition, awareness about the species has spread, resulting in further preservation efforts. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) moved the Burmese star tortoise to the most restrictive protections in March 2013.

While there is still more work to be done, as only 1,000 Burmese star tortoises have been reintroduced into their habitat, it is nonetheless a huge conservation success story. Despite nearly losing a species, conservation and restoration efforts work and can bring back wildlife to their rightful “star” status. 

Learn how you can help make another wildlife conservation success story possible. 

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endangered species in myanmar essay

Smithsonian Voices

From the Smithsonian Museums

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Smithsonian scientists help put endangered Myanmar species on the map

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) is developing animal distribution maps as part of the Smithsonian Conservation Commons’ Working Landscapes initiative in Myanmar, helping stakeholders and decision makers make better choices regarding landscape management.

Leila Nilipour

Dr. Grant Connette trains participants on best practices in setting up wildlife cameras to ensure that high-quality data is collected.

As long ago as the 1950’s, Smithsonian scientists were captivated by the vast biodiversity of Myanmar, the kite-shaped, northernmost country in Southeast Asia. In the past few decades, they have been involved in over 50 projects and discovered more than 70 new species of plants and animals.

Three years ago, Grant Connette, a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), decided to figure out where Myanmar’s many unique and threatened species live. By developing animal distribution maps as part of the Smithsonian Conservation Commons ’ Working Landscapes initiative, he helps stakeholders and decision makers make better choices regarding landscape management.

A fundamental aspect of his work is to collaborate with local conservation groups collecting camera trap photos of animals in different locations across the country and also to encourage data sharing. With the aggregated information, Connette can do larger analyses of the distribution of 50 mammals, almost half of which are threatened or endangered, including tigers, the Asian elephant, the dhole —a type of coyote—, the Malayan tapir and the banteng, a species of wild cattle.

“Each individual organization has done surveys in a small portion of these landscapes. Based on that, you can say very little about where these species occur and how they respond to different human impacts across the landscape, but when you put data together from 12 or 15 different sites, you have a really good picture of what’s driving the distribution of these species,” said Connette.

The mammal surveys have not only produced the best available maps detailing where species occur in Myanmar, but by showing what landscape factors drive their distributions, Connette’s data allows predictions of how animals respond to roads, villages and forest degradation. This helps people design better landscape management options.

Birds are also getting a map. Grant, alongside Katie LaJeunesse Connette, SCBI international program manager for Myanmar, recently conducted a bird mapping workshop with 33 Burmese birdwatchers. A group including researchers, university professors and bird guides gathered around computers for five days to locate threatened and endangered bird species of Myanmar on a map.

They not only indicated where they had seen birds before, but where they believe birds could be found. All these inputs help feed a model that produces predictive maps for different birds, including species with little data available. The next step in the project would be to check the accuracy of the maps and the model through field work.

“We brought together this group of experts with great bird knowledge to do something bigger with that information. It will be useful both for the conservation of the species and for the bird watching community,” explained LaJeunesse Connette.

Complementing the bird and mammal mapping work, Grant published a land cover map for the southernmost state of Tanintharyi, where the last fragments of lowland evergreen forest remain in Southeast Asia; a type of forest known for having an overwhelming percentage of Myanmar’s biodiversity, yet it risks being cleared out for growing palm oil.

“It’s been a lot of work to just get to the point where we have the information we need to apply it to decision making about conservation and development in this region. Some of it is very practical and geared towards immediate landscape management and some other is setting the baseline for future work around landscape planning,” concluded Connette.

The Conservation Commons is an action network within the Smithsonian Institution (SI), highlighting the relevance of science and innovative interdisciplinary approaches across science and culture to on-the-ground conservation worldwide.


Leila Nilipour | READ MORE

Leila Nilipour is a bilingual storyteller based in Panama City. 

endangered species in myanmar essay

Endangered Species Found in Regions of Myanmar

  • April 14, 2021

endangered species in myanmar essay

Stori Smith

Endangered species found in regions of myanmar.

From Mongabay newsletter:

The first-ever surveys of forests in Karen state in southeast Myanmar — a region that was previously out-of-bounds for scientists due to security and political reasons — has yielded surprising results.

Researchers have recorded at least 31 species of mammals in the region, more than half of which are categorized as Near Threatened, Vulnerable or Endangered on the  IUCN Red List , according to a study published in  Oryx . Some of these endangered mammals include tigers ( Panthera tigris ), Asian elephants ( Elephas maximus ), Phayre’s langurs ( Trachypithecus phayrei ), and dholes ( Cuon alpinus ).

“It is incredibly rare to find such rich and diverse wildlife anywhere in the world today but certainly in Southeast Asia,” said Clare Campbell, Director of Wildlife Asia, an Australian conservation NGO that coordinates the  Karen Wildlife Conservation Initiative  (KWCI), in a statement. “Thanks to the long-standing conservation efforts of the Karen people this area is a refuge for the last tigers in the region, Asian elephants and so much more.”

Karen state (also known as Kayin state), is located in southeast Myanmar and borders Thailand. The state has had a turbulent past, suffering from decades-long conflict that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and allowed little room for development. The region has also been excluded from most previous scientific assessments.

“Previously this area has been off limits due to the military conflict between the Karen military units and the Myanmar army, and as a result the entire region has been a blackspot of information with regard to wildlife and omitted from wildlife distribution maps, etcetera. For example, the ‘Myanmar tiger action plan’ did not feature this important tiger habitat,” said Ross McEwing, wildlife conservation lead for the KWCI.

Between December 2014 to July 2015, the KWCI set up camera traps in four areas of Karen state, making these the first surveys of their kind. The cameras captured at least 31 species of mammals, including 17 species that are globally threatened, such as the tiger, Asian elephant and dhole.

The researchers also detected images of the  Indochinese leopard  ( Panthera pardus delacouri ) at nearly 60 percent of all camera trap stations and across all survey sites. This suggests that Karen state could be supporting one of the most significant leopard populations remaining in Southeast Asia, the authors write. Only 400 to 1,000 adult, breeding Indochinese leopards are estimated to survive in the wild today.

The cameras also captured several records of gaur ( Bos gaurus ), barking deer or muntjak ( Muntiacus spp. ), Eurasian wild pig ( Sus scrofa ), and a few species of bears across the state.

“This demonstrates a relatively intact and functioning ecosystem where local human hunting pressure is selective and sustainable and where top predators exist, and importantly reproduce, as a result of a high prey density (or food availability) — something now missing from much of the forests in Southeast Asia which limits the abundance and richness of top predators,” McEwing said. “In some of these areas we have tiger, leopard and dhole all sharing territories which is only possible if prey densities are high, otherwise tigers would exclude leopards or leopards would exclude dhole from these regions.”

Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and forum participants on this web site are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of SAFE Worldwide.

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New wildlife sanctuary in myanmar, as a country, myanmar has a greater diversity of ecosystems than any other nation in mainland southeast asia.

Asian Elephant (EN), Sunda Pangolin (CR), Chinese Pangolin (CR), Eastern Hoolock Gibbon (VU), Green Peafowl (EN)

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As a country, Myanmar has a greater diversity of ecosystems than any other nation in mainland Southeast Asia, with some of the most intact natural habitats and communities of species remaining in the entire region – including many endemic and globally threatened species.

In North-central Myanmar’s Sagaing Region, the fantasy image comes to life as mountainous peaks slope down to fertile lowlands hosting fantastic wealth of flora and fauna. Iconic species such as Clouded Leopards, Golden Cat, Banteng, Sunda and Chinese Pangolin are all found in forests here, as well as a small population of Endangered Asian Elephants.

Additionally, these forests are very important for the long-term conservation of Vulnerable Eastern Hoolock Gibbons – a rare Asian primate with distinct facial markings and loud haunting calls. With a total population estimated at only 10,000-50,000, this area is a stronghold for the species across its global range.

To protect Central Myanmar’s wildlife, Rainforest Trust has teamed up with local partner Friends of Wildlife (FOW) to help establish the Mahamyaing Wildlife Sanctuary (MWS). The 291,680-acre reserve will provide critical protection for Eastern Hoolock Gibbon and other rare species, while providing an outstanding opportunity for expansion of Myanmar’s network of protected areas.

Explore Myanmar

The Critically Endangered Sunda Pangolin, by Chien Lee

The Endangered Green Peafowl, by Raju Kasambe

The Vulnerable Hoolock Gibbon, by Programme HURO

Forests in Central Myanmar are becoming increasingly strained by demand for illegal timber and food crops, while poaching for the illegal wildlife trade decimates rare species that are outside protected areas.

The proposed Mahamyaing Wildlife Sanctuary (MWS) hosts a particularly rich and intact assortment of Asian wildlife. Biodiversity surveys have recorded Clouded Leopard, Fishing Cat, Chinese Serow and the Critically Endangered Chinese and Sunda Pangolins.

A significant portion of the global population of Eastern Hoolock Gibbon – a rare Asian primate with distinct facial markings and loud haunting calls – is found in the sanctuary area, representing at least 10% and probably over 25% of the global population. The reserve also serves as an important corridor and refuge for an estimated 60 Endangered Asian Elephants, which are becoming increasingly rare across their range. In addition, the area has been designated an Important Bird Area (IBA). Over 86 bird species have been identified in the proposed sanctuary including the strikingly beautiful and Endangered Green Peafowl. Over 74 species of butterfly and a diverse suite of flora have also been documented.

Threats to the proposed wildlife sanctuary come mainly from extraction of timber and the encroachment of roads that degrade and fragment habitat. In addition to these threats, a lack of effective management and institutional support of protected areas in Myanmar hampers protection efforts.

Rainforest Trust is partnering with Friends of Wildlife (FOW) to help protect 291,680 acres in North-Central Myanmar as the Mahamyaing Wildlife Sanctuary. The new protected area will safeguard a major portion of the Vulnerable Eastern Hoolock Gibbon’s global population, while providing refuge for a wide variety of rare Asian wildlife.

FOW has been conserving Eastern Hoolock Gibbons in the area since 2014. Building on their efforts, supervisory teams will be implemented to bolster wildlife protection, community outreach and monitoring of wildlife in the . The results of these activities will generate skills and information that will be used in preparing a new and comprehensive management plan for MWS. This management plan will be implemented by FOW and will aim to provide a much higher level of protection for wildlife than currently exists in Central Myanmar. Once established, the sanctuary will be one of the largest protected areas in Myanmar, serving as a refuge for a wide variety of rare wildlife while representing one of the few protected areas in the country capable of supporting viable populations of migratory or wide-ranging species such as elephants.

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Conserving wildlife, preserving traditions

  • August 18, 2019

More attention should be paid to practices of wildlife conservation that emerge from local beliefs and customs, which are often overshadowed by international agreements and government action plans.


From the southern Myeik Archipelago to the northern Kachin hills, Myanmar’s natural ecosystems support species of flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world. Myanmar’s status as one of the most biologically diverse regions on the planet has made it a priority country for international conservation efforts; Myanmar has been designated as part of the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot by Conservation International, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature has identified over 207 vulnerable and endangered species within the country.

At present, Myanmar’s abundant wildlife and ecosystems are managed under the 2018 Conservation of Biodiversity and Protected Areas Law. This law regulates the management of local species and landscapes and enforces the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna, or CITES, which Myanmar signed onto in 1997.

Such top-down approaches to conservation certainly have their place, and they represent Myanmar’s formal commitment to protecting its biodiversity. However, less attention has been given to forms of wildlife conservation that emerge, not from international agreements or government action plans, but from local traditions and beliefs. A limited body of scholarship on Myanmar suggests that the preservation of diverse cultures and practices could have an important knock-on effect in supporting biological diversity.

For example, in Myaleik Taung, a mountain in Sintkaing Township just south of Mandalay, local beliefs have been essential to the continued survival of one critically endangered species, the Burmese Star Tortoise (Geochelone platynota). While this animal has been harvested near to extinction for food and traditional medicine in other parts of Myanmar, villagers at Myaleik Taung adhere to taboos against harming them.

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There, the Star Tortoise is closely associated with the nats, spirits of an animist tradition that is practiced in close conjunction with Buddhism. Villagers believe that disturbing a tortoise could result in retribution from the nats that live in the nearby forest. This belief was first recorded in a 2003 study led by Dr Steven Platt of the Wildlife Conservation Society, which found the Star Tortoise population at Myaleik Taung to be relatively abundant.

Similarly, in southern Myanmar, local beliefs have afforded at least some protection to the Mangrove Terrapin (Batagur baska), another critically endangered reptile. In Tanintharyi Region, a 2008 study led by wildlife biologist Dr Kalyar Platt recorded strong, highly localised beliefs that these animals have spiritual powers, including the ability to transform into humans. Local people hesitate to harvest or disturb these animals, believing that they live under the protection of resident nats. Although Mangrove Terrapins have disappeared in most parts of their historical range in South and Southeast Asia, these beliefs provide hope for their continued survival in isolated parts of Myanmar.

Throughout the Ayeyarwady delta, the Sarus Crane (Antigone antigone) is esteemed by Buddhist monks and laypeople for the bird’s place in the life of the Gautama Buddha. According to Buddhist lore, an injured Sarus Crane fell into the lap of the young prince Siddhartha, who nursed the bird back to health. The International Crane Foundation has said there are only about 400 of these birds left in Myanmar. Most of them are in estuarine areas of Ayeyarwady Region.

‘Threat-free forests’

The relationship between religion and wildlife protection has a long history in Myanmar, including at the level of state policy in the pre-colonial era. An early prototype of modern protected areas existed in the designation of bemetaw (“threat-free forests”), places where all living beings were protected from harm.

U Myint Aung, an ecologist and former warden of Chatthin Wildlife Sanctuary in Sagaing Region, has said that Burmese kings began designating bemetaw following the introduction of Buddhism in the 11th century, but the first recorded example was the Yadanarpon bemetaw under King Mindon in 1860. Twenty years later, King Thibaw, Burma’s last king, extended his father’s sanctuary by designating all of what remained of his kingdom in Upper Burma as a bemetaw – though historian Charles Keeton has suggested this move had less to do with environmentalism than with securing natural resources against colonial incursions.

Whatever Thibaw’s motives, or that of other kings, the protections for wildlife that they decreed lived on in British colonial policy. In 1936, a provision in the first dedicated law for conserving wildlife, the Wild Life Protection Act, forbade hunting within 200 yards of any inhabited Buddhist monastery or other religious edifice, including non-Buddhist ones.

This transformed the hundreds of monasteries in the country into de facto bemetaws. British administrators sometimes capitalised on this added function by appointing monastic leaders as park wardens in the sacred protected areas that surrounded their monasteries. In comparison to colonial game wardens, whose primary obligation was to protect timber yields, monks were said to have taken seriously their responsibility to preserve the life of the land and the animals in their care.

Legal flux, new opportunities

When the colonial statute was eventually replaced by the 1994 Protection of Wildlife and Conservation of Natural Areas Law, the provisions against hunting in the vicinity of sacred spaces went with it. Myanmar’s legal framework for conservation has since been updated twice, with the passing of the Environmental Conservation Law in 2012 and the Conservation of Biodiversity and Protected Areas Law in May 2018.

Significantly, the 2018 law allows for the designation of “community protected areas” that would be managed by local communities in partnership with the Forest Department. It also enables the establishment of buffer zones, where communities surrounding protected areas can use natural resources and even develop ecotourism initiatives.

While bylaws clarifying how these provisions would work in practice are still being worked out, the 2018 law could allow local beliefs and practices to be incorporated more into national conservation efforts. It is crucial that policies for managing the environment benefit both local communities and wildlife populations, since both are vulnerable in the face of climate change, intensifying resource extraction and declining habitat quality.

The natural environment is an intricate system of interactions between animals, people and the habitats they share; conserving it requires strategies that are just as complex. International conventions and national laws matter because they allow actions that threaten wildlife to be punished. But punitive approaches will fail in the absence of participation from local communities.

With this in mind, traditional beliefs and practices that protect wildlife could provide a useful meeting point between national and local interests. They are fertile ground for conservation strategies that adhere to, rather than undermine, local values.

Nicole Tu-Maung

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Nature conservation in times of conflict: Myanmar

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Header photo: Launglon in the Tanintharyi region, Myanmar. © Symeon Ekizoglou

Since the military coup, staff of the partner organisation we worked with in the Shared Resources, Joint Solutions from 2016 through 2020, hide in the forests of Tanintharyi, a region in southern Myanmar. We spoke with a staff member. For security reasons, the organisation and interviewee remain anonymous and will be indicated with ‘our partner’ and ‘they’.

Working in a conflict area

Our partner’s team is geographically divided because of the conflict. A few months after they closed their office, the Myanmar military went in to search their documents. While part of the staff remains in Tanintharyi, others went to their home towns or fled abroad. For all of them, traveling is complicated or even impossible. The communities they are working with are situated in Karen National Union area, while bordering areas are under control of the Myanmar military.

‘It is challenging, for all of our staff. We cannot be in one place and it is hard to gather information. Still, we have continued to work discreetly and strategically on our community and environmental activities,’ tells our partner. Their area is currently not part of the conflict zone, but this could change rapidly: ‘These villages we work in are not targeted by the Myanmar military, but the villages 20 miles away are. All of the communities in the area must have an emergency kit prepared.’

Our partner operates under Karen National Union (KNU) governance: ‘We and the communities in the area have a close relationship with the KNU authorities. Most people support the 2021 opposition against the military government and directly and indirectly support local defence forces.’

Myanmar’s civil war and the KNU

Impact on nature conservation and sustainable development.

Due to the escalated conflict, part of the activities that before were supported by the SRJS programme could not be implemented as planned, according to our partner. ‘In the villages, we work with community-based organisations (CBOs). Since our staff could not travel to these villages because of security measures, we can only meet with CBOs online and cannot provide close support. Nevertheless, we have been working with the local CBOs on establishing community forests, increased the awareness of youth, worked with peasants on improving their livelihoods, placed camera traps to monitor wildlife, and conducted other activities. We also still organise online conferences on environmental conservation with the KNU Forest Department.’

The circumstances also had an unexpected positive outcome: ‘The CBOs had to carry out project activities more independently. The leaders of the community-based organisations were forced to work together with other village leaders and had more opportunity to apply their abilities. They took all responsibility while we tried to stay in touch through internet. Nowadays, we are able to meet with part of the leaders again.’

One of the main objectives of our partner is empowering youth and women. ‘Unfortunately, the role of women in the projects has diminished,’ they say. ‘We must stay alert, since we do not know when violence will strike. Most women therefore stay at home and work the land. We have noticed that most people attending meetings are men now. But we continue to try to mobilise youth for the community-led conservation. In December 2022, we organised a youth camp teaching them GPS, monitoring and legal awareness skills.’

‘Militants cut down mangrove forests for charcoal. It is the main cause of deforestation in the area, while the local families depend on mangroves for food and income.’

Community monitoring

Community monitoring was one of the pillars of the SRJS programme in Myanmar. Community members still report illegal mining and logging activities, tells our partner: ‘If a villager logs illegally, it is reported to the community forest committee. If it concerns a company or authority, we send an official letter with all data to the KNU regional forest department.’

Large mining and logging companies can get permission from the Myanmar military government to extract natural resources. These are national companies that are connected with multinationals; many investors are waiting to enter the area and mine for tin or lead, according to our partner. Our partner conducted research on these companies: ‘Sometimes their permit has expired, but they just continue.’

Because of this, community members are monitoring their environment more closely these days: ‘Community-based organisations and other villagers are more aware of outside parties wanting to extract natural resources from the area. When they observe foot prints or traces of mining activities, they inform us and then we discuss our options. Often the CBO’s try talking with the people of the company first.’

Deforestation of mangroves

In the past, oil palm plantations of a Korean company directly caused deforestation in the region, but the company stopped the expansion after large protests of the villagers in 2018. ‘Since then, there has been no more logging or planting of oil palms, but the communities still suffer from environmental degradation. This results in declining water levels and wildlife invading small farms due to the loss of habitat,’ tells our partner.

The communities in Tanintharyi proof their resilience to conflict, but the current situation is still a major challenge to them. Mangrove forests play an important role in their livelihood: in these rich ecosystems, families fish for shrimp and collect wood for cooking.

Charcoal has become a popular business since the coup, especially among local militants supporting the military coup. Because of their presence, it is dangerous for families to enter the mangroves, tells our partner: ‘Militants cut down mangrove forests for charcoal. It is the main cause of deforestation in the area, while the local families depend on mangroves for food and income.’

Conflict and food insecurity

Since the coup in February 2021, about 1 million people in Myanmar are internally displaced or fled to neighboring countries Thailand and India. They had to leave their houses and their land to find refuge from the conflict. Due to inflation, a lack of jobs and food insecurity, people are now also moving to other parts of the country in search of other forms of livelihood.

According to our partner, there are currently no displaced people from other regions in Tanintharyi, but people regularly have to leave their homes for short periods. ‘The conflict has major consequences for the local population,’ they say. ‘If the fighting takes place near their village, many people flee to a neighboring village for several days or longer. They do not return home until the fighting has stopped, which affects crops and endangers their food security and livelihoods. People help each other as much as they can. In addition, they receive humanitarian aid from an alliance of local NGOs, of which we are also a part, distributing the resources among the local population.’

Shared Resources, Joint Solutions: ongoing impact

From 2016 through 2020, IUCN NL worked with our local partner organisation on strengthening the (climate) resilience of Karen communities in Tanintharyi through community-led conservation. Our joint efforts in Myanmar were part of Shared Resources, Joint Solutions (SRJS): a strategic partnership with WWF funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and implemented with 200 partners around the globe. The SRJS programme ended in 2020, only just before the violent military coupe took place on the 1 st of February 2021.

Despite the challenging context, the SRJS activities have an ongoing impact on the communities in Tanintharyi, tells our partner organisation: ‘Because of the work we did with IUCN NL, we are now able to continue with activities on sustainability, civic rights and empowerment. Because of the camera traps purchased as part of the SRJS project, we can still monitor wildlife and other activities in the forest. We are still connected with the other SRJS project partners in Myanmar, we meet regularly online and collaborate with some of them to train staff and local people.’

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Myanmar Plan to Breed Protected Species in Captivity Draws Criticism

Myanmar’s conservation ministry is considering captive breeding of as many as 175 threatened species, including tigers, Irrawaddy dolphins and rare birds that exist only in the wild.

endangered species in myanmar essay

By Richard C. Paddock and Saw Nang

BANGKOK — Myanmar will soon adopt rules that would permit captive breeding of about 175 threatened species, including tigers, pangolins and Irrawaddy dolphins, despite fears that such ventures could encourage poaching of wild animals and spawn new diseases that jump to humans.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation quietly circulated a list of wildlife last month that could be raised commercially for display in zoos, tourist attractions or hotels and, in a handful of cases, to produce meat for sale to the public.

Government officials assert that the list is aimed at improving wildlife protection by reducing illegal hunting and increasing conservation under a 2018 law. The government is expected to issue detailed rules on commercial breeding in coming months, said U Naing Zaw Htun, the ministry’s director of wildlife conservation.

But international conservation groups said the plan could undermine wildlife protection by increasing demand for wild meat and for species used in traditional medicine.

“Commercial trade has been shown to increase illegal trade in wildlife by creating a parallel market and boosting overall demand for wild animal products,” the World Wildlife Fund and Fauna and Flora International said in a joint statement questioning the government plan.

The list posted on government websites identifies 89 species of mammals, birds and reptiles, including such rare creatures as the helmeted hornbill, the Bengal slow loris and the white-handed gibbon.

The list also includes a reference to snakes as a broad category. At least 100 snake species in Myanmar are threatened, including the Burmese python, the spitting cobra and the Russell’s viper, said U Kyi Soe Lwin, manager of the privately run Yangon Zoological Garden.

Conservationists contend that commercial breeding of protected wildlife would undermine efforts to protect endangered species. Captive breeding has little conservation value, they say, because such animals are rarely suited for release in the wild.

Animal experts and conservationists said that at least 175 of the species covered by the list are considered threatened in Myanmar or globally.

It is unclear whether the rules would allow endangered animals to be captured in the wild.

Under the ministry’s plan, eight species can be commercially farmed for meat, including at least one that is listed as threatened in Myanmar — the estuarine, or saltwater, crocodile. Mr. Naing Zaw Htun, the government official, defended the inclusion of the crocodile because breeding it for its meat and skin is already permitted.

Keeping wildlife for human consumption, especially in crowded Asian markets, has been linked to viruses that have infected humans, including the coronavirus that has caused the current pandemic and SARS, which emerged in 2002 and killed nearly 800 people worldwide.

Conservationists and health experts have urged governments around the world to curb consumption of wild meat , or bush meat, as it is sometimes known.

“Commercial wildlife breeding and trade can also increase the risk of disease spillover from wildlife to humans, such as Covid-19,” the World Wildlife Fund and Fauna and Flora International said.

The pangolin, which at one point was suspected of playing a part in the transmission of the new coronavirus, could be bred in Myanmar zoos under the new regulations.

Both of the country’s species, the Sunda pangolin and the Chinese pangolin, are critically endangered, said U Nay Myo Shwe, a wildlife expert with Fauna and Flora International.

Permitting captive breeding of tigers in Myanmar could open a new base of operations for illegal tiger traders.

In much of Southeast Asia, demand for tiger parts in traditional Chinese medicine and human encroachment have put tremendous pressure on the species. Conservationists say that a flourishing market in tiger parts gives poachers an incentive to hunt wild tigers and sell them.

In Myanmar, scientists have identified 22 individual tigers in the wild and estimate that no more than 50 survive in two fragmented habitats, giving the species little chance of long-term survival.

Edwin Wiek, the founder of the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, said he expected investors seeking to establish tiger farms in Myanmar would obtain animals from China and Laos, where enforcement is relatively lax.

Another endangered species on the government’s list is the Irrawaddy dolphin .

Mr. Nay Myo Shwe, the wildlife expert, said only about 75 of the freshwater dolphins survive in Myanmar, where they inhabit the Irrawaddy River for which they are named. None are in captivity, he said, and so the only way to begin commercial breeding would be to capture a pair.

“Putting dolphins in zoos would be like having them live in lockdown conditions,” he said. “The nature of the dolphin is they like to range freely in a very wide area, not in a limited area like a zoo.”

Similarly, he questioned the inclusion of the helmeted hornbill, which is so critically endangered that its numbers are unknown. Like the dolphin, none are kept in captivity, so commercial breeding would mean capturing them.

The helmeted hornbill, which lives in Myanmar’s dwindling pristine forests, has long been sought for its large horn, which is prized for carving and is sometimes used in China as a substitute for ivory.

Richard C. Paddock has worked as a foreign correspondent in 50 countries on five continents with postings in Moscow, Jakarta, Singapore and Bangkok. He has spent nearly a dozen years reporting on Southeast Asia, which he has covered since 2016 as a contributor to The New York Times. More about Richard C. Paddock

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Why Protect Biodiversity and Save Endangered Species?

Abstract Biodiversity on the planet is rapidly declining with the sharp increase in species extinction rates. As population numbers for many wildlife species continue to fall, research has shifted to applying molecular biology techniques in order to preserve the genetic presence of species on the planet even if the species itself is no longer able to survive. Ben-Nun and colleagues showed somatic cells of endangered species could undergo a reprogramming process to a state of pluripotency that is similar to […]

Endangered Species and Protected Areas

The world and our home we call Earth is a young beautiful place, breathtaking views, wonders of the oceans, various life forms, a sure beauty one would say. As each year goes by humans just take that beauty and make it ugly. Cutting down forest after forest, killing thousands upon thousands of animals per year, we humans have sure gone downhill since the industrial revolution particularly, vast amounts of technology allows us to be able to run the Earth dry […]

Five Ways Immigration – Driven Population Growth Impacts our Environment

Chapter 3 in our book “Globalization and Diversity” titled North America is about how the North American region plays a vital role in globalization with its urbanized and culturally diverse populations. It is also about how North America has a population of 355 million people with a large-scale economy and vast economic growth who have the largest consumers of natural resources on the earth. It also talks about environmental challenges and issues like acid rain, threatened coastlines, drought, scarce water, […]

Zoos and Endangered Species

For Centuries zoos across America have offered entertainment and education to children and adults. Facing mounting criticism from animal rights camps, they do much more than recognized. Zoos offer support in conservation, educate the public on positive and negative impacts society has on the wild, and saving future generations from extinction. With so much support for wildlife, animals are thriving and adapting to their environments thanks to the help of over 65 conservation programs. American zoos and aquariums have set […]

Endangered Species: Turtle Habitat Program

Executive Summary Conservation need: At least five endangered sea turtles habitats are in harm along the Gulf of Mexico and the Savanna, Georgia area. Unfortunately, there are approximately five different species of sea turtles have been lost from roughly over 53 percent of the wetlands that they once inhabitant. Performance targets: The state of the art expenditure of over $5.3 million for the next ten years would aid in accomplishing 10 -15 percent of the endangered reptile population goals. While […]

Saving an Endangered Epecies: the Question of Ethics

The amount of gene disorders in American has risen significantly over the past few years. According to Global Genes, “rare diseases affect one in [every] ten Americans.” From this statistic, it is fairly assumed that 30 million people have a rare disease in the United States alone (Global Genes). Food and Drug Administration processes are long and expensive. The waiting time to get a new medication or therapy approved is too long to keep up with the newly emerging health […]

Protection of Endangered Species

There are diverse environments in Texas from woods to deserts, Texas offers us something different around each corner, such as a rare jewel. The Meadows Center glass-bottom boat tour offered me a chance to ride a historic glass boat, seeing much native wildlife throughout, with the exception of a few invasive animals. While peering into the crystal-clear water, I was able to spot hundreds of springs pumping water into the surface. During this glass-bottom tour, I was able to grasp […]

Endangered Species Recovery Efforts

Background Reintroduction, the intentional movement of an organism into a part of its native range following its extirpation, is a common strategy in the conservation of threatened and endangered species (IUCN, 2013; Soorae, 2018). However, the success of this strategy in the past has been variable (Griffith, et al., 1989; Fischer & Lindenmayer, 2000; Wolf, et al., 1996), leading to calls for greater understanding of target species’ establishment and persistence requirements (Armstrong & Seddon, 2008; Seddon, et al., 2007). Habitat […]

Endangered Species: Hoolock Gibbons of Bangladesh

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Endangered Species: Gila Woodpecker

The Gila Woodpecker is one of many types of woodpeckers. This bird has an average lifetime of 10 years and the females tend to lay 3-5 eggs (1). The highest population density of the woodpecker is in the Sonoran Desert. Their water is scarce, and they are hunted by different types of animals. The main predators include a fox, bobcat, and coyote(2). The Gila Woodpecker is one of the most innovative birds. They use their long beaks to create small […]

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Essay about California’s top 10 Endangered Species What are endangered species? Why should we care about them? These are the questions that this article will cover and raise awareness about these animals. Endangered species are types of species’ that have a low number of the animal left alive on the planet. I believe that all animals should be treated with the same respect as humans. I can give you an idea of why we actually need these animals, like how we need the gray wolf so the deer or elk populations don’t overpopulate and eat a lot of the plants in California. This exact thing happened in Yellowstone one time where the wolf population got really low and the deer or elk populations sky-rocketed and ate a lot of the plants in Yellowstone, but when the wolf populations went up, everything went back to normal. 10. The Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) The Gray Wolf is last because its numbers are healthy outside California. Extinct in California until 2011, the Gray Wolf has made a re-entrance into California. There are 2 lively packs in Northern California. These wolves would do just fine in the northern mountains with a lot of food, however, the Tasmanian tiger ranchers will kill them for eating livestock. There is a law protecting the wolves but, there is a loophole; a hunter can claim that they didn’t know they were shooting at a wolf, therefore, avoiding punishment. With the wolf population under a dozen, and that the whereabouts of the 7 member Shasta pack unknown, the Gray Wolf is not safe. 9.Tricolored blackbird (Agelaius tricolor) The tricolored blackbird is a far relative to the red-winged blackbird. The bird lives only in California. The birds gather in huge groups during early spring on farmland. This is the main reason their numbers decimated. That means that a couple of hours’ work with a combine might kill 50 or 60 thousand of the birds at once. Those 145,000 tricolored was a 44 percent decline from the species’ numbers in 2011, which were themselves down by more than a third from 2008. 8.California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus) You might know this species as a high-flying success story. But, the California Condor is not out of the woods yet. The California Condor has 400 specimens alive, half in the wild and half in captivity. Four hundred birds alive is pretty good when there were 27 left in the wild in 1987. These birds are still in danger from human-caused hazards including flying into telephone wires. the most pervasive threat, which afflicts pretty much all wild condors, is poisoning from lead ammo used by hunters. The birds preferentially ingest lead shots and bullet fragments, possibly due to behavioral habits that evolved as a way to get the birds to eat calcium-rich bone fragments. The lead stays in the condors’ stomachs, leaching into their exceptionally strong stomach acids, and causing a number of serious and often fatal illnesses. Luckily most hunters don’t use a lead and a statewide ban will go into place in 2019. 7.Lange's metalmark butterfly (Apodemia Mormon langeia) This butterfly lives in the highly polluted area of Antioch. But is home to a few endangered species including Lange’s metalmark butterfly. The butterfly relies on one plant- the Antioch dunes buckwheat, which lives in the Antioch dunes, a small patch of sandy hills along the south shore of the San Joaquin River. These dunes were mined out for their sand to make bricks in the early 1900s. this butterfly’s numbers have gotten better but, they are still classified as endangered. 6.Kings gold (Tropidocarpum californicum) This yellow powdered plant suffers terribly from droughts and habitat loss. Their habitat consists of alkaline soils along the south shore of what was once Tulare Lake. There is one patch near interstate 5 west of Wasco. This patch only has 50 individual plants. 5.Delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) The delta smelt lives in the brackish waters of the river up by san Francisco. People started pumping a lot of fresh water out of the bay which devastated the brackish waters where these small fish lived. People also hauled large numbers to San Francisco to sell at the markets. They also get chewed up in pumps. They can get eaten by larger invasive fish, and battle over food with invasive clams for zooplankton. It is possible the smelt has declined past the point of recovery. There is probably only a few dozen in the whole river. 4.Buena Vista Lake ornate shrew Do not call this shrew a rodent. Mice, rats, and squirrels are more closely related to us than to the Buena Vista Lake ornate shrew. Fewer than 3 dozen still remain alive today. The numbers have been the same since 1990. The shrew’s habitat has almost entirely been destroyed. Now, Tulare Lake exists only during exceptionally wet years. The lake only occupies 10% of what it used to. 3.Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) This type of salmon used to go up the Sacramento River to its tributaries the Pit and McCloud rivers breed in an event called the winter run of chinook before European settlers came in. this changed when the Shasta Dam went into place blocking spawn access for the chinook and other salmon. The winter-run of Chinook lost more than 95% of historic spawning habitat. To make things worse the last free-flowing spot, the battle creek was turned into a hydroelectric plant. Most all the salmon died out of the loss of habitat. The remaining few severely rely on the cold water deliberately released from the Shasta and Keswick dams. A little shift in the dams policy can wipe the Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon of the face of the planet. 2.Amargosa vole (Microtus californicus scirpensis) This critter made the news in 2015 when a large group captive-bred voles were being taken to their natural habitat … and died on the way there. The scientist figured it was from a combination of dehydration and stress. So it is a bit ironic they live in one of the most stressful, dehydrated places in California, the Amargosa River which flows through the mojave desert. The Amargosa vole subsists on a diet consisting almost entirely of three-square bulrush, a very heat tolerant wetland plant that grows around springs in the vicinity of the Death Valley community of Tecopa. There are only a handful of them left in the wild. 1.Desert slender salamander (Batrachoseps aridus) This species could actually be extinct, no one has recorded on in 21 years. They are so vulnerable if there skin dries out they die. Discovered in 1960, the salamanders have only ever been found in Guadalupe Canyon and Hidden Palms Canyon near Palm Desert. There hasn’t been a sighting since 1996.

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Environment: Endangered Species Essay

Globally, over 14,000 animal species face a risk of extinction. The reasons for the near extinction include poaching, habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, pollution, diseases, climate change, and low birth rates (IUCN, 2021). Some of the most endangered species include the Javan rhino, African elephants, black rhino, snow leopards, orangutans, the vaquita, Amur leopards, and the eastern lowland gorillas. With the appropriate conservation measure, endangered animals may increase over time.

Captive breeding and reintroduction are among the most effective conservation approaches. They involve capturing, breeding, and rearing endangered animals in wildlife reserves, zoos, or aquariums to help increase their numbers. After a significant number is raised, the animals can then be released back to their natural habitats. For example, in 1982, only 22 California condors existed in the wild; however, captive breeding increased the number to 425 in 2014 (Association of Zoos & Aquarium, n.d). Thus, when threats are reduced, the rare species can improve in numbers.

Habitat protection is critical in ensuring the safety of endangered animals. Protected areas where endangered species can be placed include nature reserves, national parks, and wildlife refuges. There are various marine reserves and protected areas that prohibit fishing, thus safeguarding the marine species. In this case, New Zealand has several marine reserves that protect sea turtles, aquatic mammals, and some fish species such as manta rays and white pointer sharks (Ministry for Primary Industries, n.d). Additionally, some laws and regulations safeguard wildlife at state, national, and global levels to prevent animal extinction. In this case, CITES or the Washington convention significantly regulates the global trade of wild animals. This treaty restricts and controls any trade involving endangered species to ensure they do not become extinct

In conclusion, human activity and climate change continually threaten some wild animals’ survival. Nonetheless, appropriate conservation methods such as captive breeding and habitat protection can ensure the continuous reproduction of these species. The enactment of state, national and global laws that safeguard wild animals also promotes the survival of these species. Human beings have a responsibility to ensure the protection of wild animals and their habitats.

Global warming is one of the biggest threats to animal and plant survival. The accumulation of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, deforestation, and increased agricultural activities are major contributors to this phenomenon. The increased earth temperature associated with global warming has led to climate change resulting in several natural calamities. However, the threat of global warming can be reduced by using renewable energy, recycling, planting more trees, and lowering the emission of greenhouse gases.

Global warming has significant adverse impacts on human beings and the environment. The extreme heat associated with climate change increases complications from underlying respiratory and heart diseases such as renal failure and asthma and may cause other heat-related disorders. Global warming also increases the risk of storms and drought, affecting food supply, which may cause death to both humans and animals (Global Climate Change, 2021). It has also been linked to ocean acidification, increased ocean temperature, and rising sea levels. Such occurrences have led to the death of a significant number of marine life.

Rather than human actions, global warming may result from natural forces. Human activities such as deforestation, industrial processes, and agricultural activities have long been attributed to climate change. However, there are claims that complex gravitational interactions, particularly alterations in the earth’s orbit, torque, and axial tilt, may also influence climate change resulting in increased temperature (Neaves, 2017). Gradual shifts in the earth’s orbit combined with its axial tilt places the south and north poles more directly to the sun resulting in temperature extremes.

In conclusion, global warming has adverse effects on humans and nature. It exposes humans to heat-related diseases and increases complications of respiratory illnesses such as asthma. Climate change depletes vegetation causing food shortage and death to humans and animals. Similarly, it causes ocean warming and acidification, which destroys marine life. Although some natural forces such as shifts in the earth’s orbit and axis may trigger temperature changes, human activities are the greatest contributors to global warming.

Association of Zoos & Aquarium (n.d). Reintroduction programs . Web.

Ministry for Primary Industries. (n.d). Protecting marine life . Web.

Neaves, T., T. (2017). The climate is changing, but not just because of humans. Here’s why that matters . NBC News . Web.

International Union for Conservation of Nature. (2021). African elephant species now endangered and critically endangered – IUCN Red List . Web.

Global Climate Change. (2021). The effects of climate change . Web.

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Endangered Species

An endangered species is a type of organism that is threatened by extinction. Species become endangered for two main reasons: loss of habitat and loss of genetic variation.

Biology, Ecology, Geography, Conservation

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Morgan Stanley

An endangered species is a type of organism that is threatened by extinction . Species become endangered for two main reasons: loss of habitat and loss of genetic variation . Loss of Habitat A loss of habitat can happen naturally. Nonavian dinosaurs , for instance, lost their habitat about 65 million years ago. The hot, dry climate of the Cretaceous period changed very quickly, most likely because of an asteroid striking Earth. The impact of the asteroid forced debris into the atmosphere , reducing the amount of heat and light that reached Earth’s surface. The dinosaurs were unable to adapt to this new, cooler habitat. Nonavian dinosaurs became endangered, then extinct . Human activity can also contribute to a loss of habitat. Development for housing, industry , and agriculture reduces the habitat of native organisms. This can happen in a number of different ways. Development can eliminate habitat and native species directly. In the Amazon rainforest of South America, developers have cleared hundreds of thousands of acres. To “clear” a piece of land is to remove all trees and vegetation from it. The Amazon rainforest is cleared for cattle ranches , logging , and ur ban use. Development can also endanger species indirectly. Some species, such as fig trees of the rainforest, may provide habitat for other species. As trees are destroyed, species that depend on that tree habitat may also become endangered. Tree crowns provide habitat in the canopy , or top layer, of a rainforest . Plants such as vines, fungi such as mushrooms, and insects such as butterflies live in the rainforest canopy. So do hundreds of species of tropical birds and mammals such as monkeys. As trees are cut down, this habitat is lost. Species have less room to live and reproduce . Loss of habitat may happen as development takes place in a species range . Many animals have a range of hundreds of square kilometers. The mountain lion ( Puma concolor ) of North America, for instance, has a range of up to 1,000 square kilometers (386 square miles). To successfully live and reproduce, a single mountain lion patrols this much territory. Urban areas , such as Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, grew rapidly during the 20th century. As these areas expanded into the wilderness, the mountain lion’s habitat became smaller. That means the habitat can support fewer mountain lions. Because enormous parts of the Sierra Nevada, Rocky, and Cascade mountain ranges remain undeveloped, however, mountain lions are not endangered. Loss of habitat can also lead to increased encounters between wild species and people. As development brings people deeper into a species range, they may have more exposure to wild species. Poisonous plants and fungi may grow closer to homes and schools. Wild animals are also spotted more frequently . These animals are simply patrolling their range, but interaction with people can be deadly. Polar bears ( Ursus maritimus ), mountain lions, and alligators are all predators brought into close contact with people as they lose their habitat to homes, farms , and businesses. As people kill these wild animals, through pesticides , accidents such as collisions with cars, or hunting, native species may become endangered.

Loss of Genetic Variation Genetic variation is the diversity found within a species. It’s why human beings may have blond, red, brown, or black hair. Genetic variation allows species to adapt to changes in the environment. Usually, the greater the population of a species, the greater its genetic variation. Inbreeding is reproduction with close family members. Groups of species that have a tendency to inbreed usually have little genetic variation, because no new genetic information is introduced to the group. Disease is much more common, and much more deadly, among inbred groups. Inbred species do not have the genetic variation to develop resistance to the disease. For this reason, fewer offspring of inbred groups survive to maturity. Loss of genetic variation can occur naturally. Cheetahs ( Acinonyx jubatus ) are a threatened species native to Africa and Asia. These big cats have very little genetic variation. Biologists say that during the last Ice Age , cheetahs went through a long period of inbreeding. As a result, there are very few genetic differences between cheetahs. They cannot adapt to changes in the environment as quickly as other animals, and fewer cheetahs survive to maturity. Cheetahs are also much more difficult to breed in captivity than other big cats, such as lions ( Panthera leo ). Human activity can also lead to a loss of genetic variation. Overhunting and overfishing have reduced the populations of many animals. Reduced population means there are fewer breeding pairs . A breeding pair is made up of two mature members of the species that are not closely related and can produce healthy offspring. With fewer breeding pairs, genetic variation shrinks. Monoculture , the agricultural method of growing a single crop , can also reduce genetic variation. Modern agribusiness relies on monocultures. Almost all potatoes cultivated , sold, and consumed, for instance, are from a single species, the Russet Burbank ( Solanum tuberosum ). Potatoes, native to the Andes Mountains of South America, have dozens of natural varieties. The genetic variation of wild potatoes allows them to adapt to climate change and disease. For Russet Burbanks, however, farmers must use fertilizers and pesticides to ensure healthy crops because the plant has almost no genetic variation. Plant breeders often go back to wild varieties to collect genes that will help cultivated plants resist pests and drought, and adapt to climate change. However, climate change is also threatening wild varieties. That means domesticated plants may lose an important source of traits that help them overcome new threats. The Red List The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) keeps a “Red List of Threatened Species.” The Red List de fines the severity and specific causes of a species’ threat of extinction. The Red List has seven levels of conservation: least concern , near threatened , vulnerable, endangered, critically endangered , extinct in the wild , and extinct. Each category represents a different threat level. Species that are not threatened by extinction are placed within the first two categories—least concern and near-threatened. Those that are most threatened are placed within the next three categories, known as the threatened categories —vulnerable, endangered, and critically endangered. Those species that are extinct in some form are placed within the last two categories—extinct in the wild and extinct. Classifying a species as endangered has to do with its range and habitat, as well as its actual population. For this reason, a species can be of least concern in one area and endangered in another. The gray whale ( Eschrichtius robustus ), for instance, has a healthy population in the eastern Pacific Ocean, along the coast of North and South America. The population in the western Pacific, however, is critically endangered.

Least Concern Least concern is the lowest level of conservation . A species of least concern is one that has a widespread and abundant population. Human beings are a species of least concern, along with most domestic animals , such as dogs ( Canis familiaris ) and cats ( Felis catus ). Many wild animals, such as pigeons and houseflies ( Musca domestica ), are also classified as least concern. Near Threatened A near threatened species is one that is likely to qualify for a threatened category in the near future. Many species of violets , native to tropical jungles in South America and Africa, are near threatened, for instance. They have healthy populations, but their rainforest habitat is disappearing at a fast pace. People are cutting down huge areas of rainforest for development and timber . Many violet species are likely to become threatened. Vulnerable Species The definitions of the three threatened categories (vulnerable, endangered, and critically endangered) are based on five criteria: population reduction rate , geographic range, population size, population restrictions , and probability of extinction . Threatened categories have different thresholds for these criteria. As the population and range of the species decreases, the species becomes more threatened. 1) Population reduction rate A species is classified as vulnerable if its population has declined between 30 and 50 percent. This decline is measured over 10 years or three generations of the species, whichever is longer. A generation is the period of time between the birth of an animal and the time it is able to reproduce. Mice are able to reproduce when they are about one month old. Mouse populations are mostly tracked over 10-year periods. An elephant's generation lasts about 15 years. So, elephant populations are measured over 45-year periods. A species is vulnerable if its population has declined at least 50 percent and the cause of the decline is known. Habitat loss is the leading known cause of population decline. A species is also classified as vulnerable if its population has declined at least 30 percent and the cause of the decline is not known. A new, unknown virus , for example, could kill hundreds or even thousands of individuals before being identified. 2) Geographic range A species is vulnerable if its “ extent of occurrence ” is estimated to be less than 20,000 square kilometers (7,722 square miles). An extent of occurrence is the smallest area that could contain all sites of a species’ population. If all members of a species could survive in a single area, the size of that area is the species’ extent of occurrence. A species is also classified as vulnerable if its “ area of occupancy ” is estimated to be less than 2,000 square kilometers (772 square miles). An area of occupancy is where a specific population of that species resides. This area is often a breeding or nesting site in a species range. 3) Population size Species with fewer than 10,000 mature individuals are vulnerable. The species is also vulnerable if that population declines by at least 10 percent within 10 years or three generations, whichever is longer. 4) Population restrictions Population restriction is a combination of population and area of occupancy. A species is vulnerable if it is restricted to less than 1,000 mature individuals or an area of occupancy of less than 20 square kilometers (8 square miles). 5) Probability of extinction in the wild is at least 10 percent within 100 years. Biologists, anthropologists, meteorologists , and other scientists have developed complex ways to determine a species’ probability of extinction. These formulas calculate the chances a species can survive, without human protection, in the wild. Vulnerable Species: Ethiopian Banana Frog The Ethiopian banana frog ( Afrixalus enseticola ) is a small frog native to high- altitude areas of southern Ethiopia. It is a vulnerable species because its area of occupancy is less than 2,000 square kilometers (772 square miles). The extent and quality of its forest habitat are in decline. Threats to this habitat include forest clearance, mostly for housing and agriculture. Vulnerable Species: Snaggletooth Shark The snaggletooth shark ( Hemipristis elongatus ) is found in the tropical, coastal waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Its area of occupancy is enormous, from Southeast Africa to the Philippines, and from China to Australia. However, the snaggletooth shark is a vulnerable species because of a severe population reduction rate. Its population has fallen more than 10 percent over 10 years. The number of these sharks is declining due to fisheries, especially in the Java Sea and Gulf of Thailand. The snaggletooth shark’s flesh, fins, and liver are considered high-quality foods. They are sold in commercial fish markets, as well as restaurants. Vulnerable Species: Galapagos Kelp Galapagos kelp ( Eisenia galapagensis ) is a type of seaweed only found near the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Galapagos kelp is classified as vulnerable because its population has declined more than 10 percent over 10 years. Climate change is the leading cause of decline among Galapagos kelp. El Niño, the natural weather pattern that brings unusually warm water to the Galapagos, is the leading agent of climate change in this area. Galapagos kelp is a cold-water species and does not adapt quickly to changes in water temperature.

Endangered Species 1) Population reduction rate A species is classified as endangered when its population has declined between 50 and 70 percent. This decline is measured over 10 years or three generations of the species, whichever is longer. A species is classified as endangered when its population has declined at least 70 percent and the cause of the decline is known. A species is also classified as endangered when its population has declined at least 50 percent and the cause of the decline is not known. 2) Geographic range An endangered species’ extent of occurrence is less than 5,000 square kilometers (1,930 square miles). An endangered species’ area of occupancy is less than 500 square kilometers (193 square miles). 3) Population size A species is classified as endangered when there are fewer than 2,500 mature individuals. When a species population declines by at least 20 percent within five years or two generations, it is also classified as endangered. 4) Population restrictions A species is classified as endangered when its population is restricted to less than 250 mature individuals. When a species’ population is this low, its area of occupancy is not considered. 5) Probability of extinction in the wild is at least 20 percent within 20 years or five generations, whichever is longer.

Endangered Species: Scimitar -horned Oryx The scimitar-horned oryx ( Oryx dammah ) is a species of antelope with long horns. Its range extends across northern Africa. Previously, the scimitar-horned oryx was listed as extinct in the wild because the last confirmed sighting of one was in 1988. However, the first group of scimitar-horned oryx was released back into the wild in Chad, in August 2016, and the population is growing. Overhunting and habitat loss, including competition with domestic livestock , are the main reasons for the decline of the oryx’s wild population. Captive herds are now kept in protected areas of Tunisia, Senegal, and Morocco. Scimitar-horned oryxes are also found in many zoos . Critically Endangered Species 1) Population reduction rate A critically endangered species’ population has declined between 80 and 90 percent. This decline is measured over 10 years or three generations of the species, whichever is longer. A species is classified as critically endangered when its population has declined at least 90 percent and the cause of the decline is known. A species is also classified as endangered when its population has declined at least 80 percent and the cause of the decline is not known. 2) Geographic range A critically endangered species’ extent of occurrence is less than 100 square kilometers (39 square miles). A critically endangered species’ area of occupancy is estimated to be less than 10 square kilometers (4 square miles). 3) Population size A species is classified as critically endangered when there are fewer than 250 mature individuals. A species is also classified as critically endangered when the number of mature individuals declines by at least 25 percent within three years or one generation, whichever is longer. 4) Population restrictions A species is classified as critically endangered when its population is restricted to less than 50 mature individuals. When a species’ population is this low, its area of occupancy is not considered. 5) Probability of extinction in the wild is at least 50 percent within 10 years or three generations, whichever is longer. Critically Endangered Species: Bolivian Chinchilla Rat The Bolivian chinchilla rat ( Abrocoma boliviensis ) is a rodent found in a small section of the Santa Cruz region of Bolivia. It is critically endangered because its extent of occurrence is less than 100 square kilometers (39 square miles). The major threat to this species is loss of its cloud forest habitat. People are clearing forests to create cattle pastures .

Critically Endangered Species: Transcaucasian Racerunner The Transcaucasian racerunner ( Eremias pleskei ) is a lizard found on the Armenian Plateau , located in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, and Turkey. The Transcaucasian racerunner is a critically endangered species because of a huge population decline, estimated at more than 80 percent during the past 10 years. Threats to this species include the salination , or increased saltiness, of soil . Fertilizers used for agricultural development seep into the soil, increasing its saltiness. Racerunners live in and among the rocks and soil, and cannot adapt to the increased salt in their food and shelter. The racerunner is also losing habitat as people create trash dumps on their area of occupancy. Critically Endangered Species: White Ferula Mushroom The white ferula mushroom ( Pleurotus nebrodensis ) is a critically endangered species of fungus. The mushroom is critically endangered because its extent of occurrence is less than 100 square kilometers (39 square miles). It is only found in the northern part of the Italian island of Sicily, in the Mediterranean Sea. The leading threats to white ferula mushrooms are loss of habitat and overharvesting. White ferula mushrooms are a gourmet food item. Farmers and amateur mushroom hunters harvest the fungus for food and profit. The mushrooms can be sold for up to $100 per kilogram (2.2 pounds). Extinct in the Wild A species is extinct in the wild when it only survives in cultivation (plants), in captivity (animals), or as a population well outside its established range. A species may be listed as extinct in the wild only after years of surveys have failed to record an individual in its native or expected habitat.

Extinct in the Wild: Monut Kaala Cyanea The Mount Kaala cyanea ( Cyanea superba ) is a large, flowering tree native to the island of Oahu, in the U.S. state of Hawai‘i. The Mount Kaala cyanea has large, broad leaves and fleshy fruit. The tree is extinct in the wild largely because of invasive species. Non-native plants crowded the cyanea out of its habitat, and non-native animals such as pigs, rats, and slugs ate its fruit more quickly than it could reproduce. Mount Kaala cyanea trees survive in tropical nurseries and botanical gardens . Many botanists and conservationists look forward to establishing a new population in the wild. Extinct A species is extinct when there is no reasonable doubt that the last remaining individual of that species has died. Extinct: Cuban Macaw The Cuban macaw ( Ara tricolor ) was a tropical parrot native to Cuba and a small Cuban island, Isla de la Juventud. Hunting and collecting the birds for pets led to the bird’s extinction. The last specimen of the Cuban macaw was collected in 1864. Extinct: Ridley’s Stick Insect Ridley’s stick insect ( Pseudobactricia ridleyi ) was native to the tropical jungle of the island of Singapore. This insect, whose long, segmented body resembled a tree limb, is only known through a single specimen, collected more than 100 years ago. During the 20th century, Singapore experienced rapid development. Almost the entire jungle was cleared, depriving the insect of its habitat.

Endangered Species and People When a species is classified as endangered, governments and international organizations can work to protect it. Laws may limit hunting and destruction of the species’ habitat. Individuals and organizations that break these laws may face huge fines. Because of such actions, many species have recovered from their endangered status. The brown pelican ( Pelecanus occidentalis ) was taken off the endangered species list in 2009, for instance. This seabird is native to the coasts of North America and South America, as well as the islands of the Caribbean Sea. It is the state bird of the U.S. state of Louisiana. In 1970, the number of brown pelicans in the wild was estimated at 10,000. The bird was classified as vulnerable. During the 1970s and 1980s, governments and conservation groups worked to help the brown pelican recover. Young chicks were reared in hatching sites, then released into the wild. Human access to nesting sites was severely restricted. The pesticide DDT , which damaged the eggs of the brown pelican, was banned. During the 1980s, the number of brown pelicans soared. In 1988, the IUCN “delisted” the brown pelican. The bird, whose population is now in the hundreds of thousands, is now in the category of least concern.

Convention on Biological Diversity The Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty to sustain and protect the diversity of life on Earth. This includes conservation, sustainability, and sharing the benefits of genetic research and resources. The Convention on Biological Diversity has adopted the IUCN Red List of endangered species in order to monitor and research species' population and habitats. Three nations have not ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity: Andorra, the Holy See (Vatican), and the United States.

Lonesome George Lonesome George was the only living member of the Pinta Island tortoise ( Chelonoidis abingdoni ) known to exist. The Pinta Island tortoise was only found on Pinta, one of the Galapagos Islands. The Charles Darwin Research Station, a scientific facility in the Galapagos, offered a $10,000 reward to any zoo or individual for locating a single Pinta Island tortoise female. On June 25, 2012, Lonesome George died, leaving one more extinct species in the world.

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