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Endangered species

Sunda pangolin. Hunted, like other pangolin species, for its skin, scales and meat for clothing manufacture and Traditional...Read More >>Sunda pangolin. Hunted, like other pangolin species, for its skin, scales and meat for clothing manufacture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Sunda pangolin is considered to be critically endangered. Animals have always experienced rises and falls in their numbers, and many species have become extinct through a long, natural process. Since humans came on to the scene, however, the rate of extinction among species of plants and animals has risen dramatically. Humans have hunted animals to extinction for food or sport, and have driven them from their natural habitats. Some of the best-known animals in the world today, such as the tiger or the gorilla, are in danger of extinction. Many lesser-known—but no less important—species are also under threat.


Amur leopard. Living in a small region of the border between China, North Korea and Russia, Amur leopards differ from other...Read More >>Amur leopard. Living in a small region of the border between China, North Korea and Russia, Amur leopards differ from other subspecies of leopard by a thick coat of fur. Only about 60–70 individuals remain in the wild.
A relative of the lemurs, the aye-aye feeds on fruit and grubs in the Madagascan rainforest. It uses its long, thin middle...Read More >>A relative of the lemurs, the aye-aye feeds on fruit and grubs in the Madagascan rainforest. It uses its long, thin middle fingers to scrape out grubs from behind the bark of trees. It is very rare, due to habitat loss and persecution from local residents, who believe it murders people while they sleep.

Hunting

People have always hunted animals for food, but, unlike other predators, humans may pursue a single species ceaselessly until it has become extinct. Many kinds of whale almost became extinct during the 18th and 19th centuries, due to the high rate of hunting for their meat and oil. In a similar persecution, island animals, especially flightless birds that had no natural predators, proved easy targets for the first human settlers. With small populations and nowhere to retreat to, these animals were driven to extinction within a short time.
 

Relatives of the dodo are living on two Samoan islands in the Pacific Ocean today. But the Manumea bird, whose scientific name means "little dodo", and which is a distant relative of the famous extinct dodo, may soon be facing extinction itself, as only a few hundred survive.

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