Published on January 22, 2014
PROJECT: Endangered and Threatened Species of Plants and Animals
What are endangered and threatened species? An endangered or threatened species is a native species that faces a significant risk of extinction in the near future throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Such species may be declining in number due to threats such as habitat destruction, climate change, or pressure from invasive species. The term endangered or threatened species can be used either in general or legal context. When used in a general sense, the term describes a species that faces a risk of extinction but does not necessarily indicate that the species is protected under any law.
ENDANGERED AND THREATENED SPECIES OF PLANTS The flora (the plants) of India is one of the richest of the world due to the wide range of climate,topology,and environments in the country. There are over 15000 species of flowering plants in India which account for 6% of total plant species in the world. According to Encyclopedia of earth over 8000 plant species are officially threatened or endangered at every hour.. Between one-fourth of all plants are at some risk. The combination of global warming and habitat destruction is the sole reason for the disappearance of many plants from earth’s face. Though there are thousands of interesting, and unusual plants are there here are some common plants which we have seen thirty years back have become rare and endangered species.
The Endangered Species List 2013: Top Ten Most Endangered Plants 1. Western Prairie Fringed Orchid Platanthera praeclara only exists in five U.S. states in the Midwest. The Endangered Species Coalition estimates that there are only 172 populations of this plant, with merely four with more than 1,000 plants. This is a wetland plant that grows in “prairie potholes”, indents left by glaciers in the recent ice age, 20,000 years ago. The main threats to this plant are development, overgrazing, fires, and global warming. 2. Rafflesia Flower Rafflesia arnoldii is thought to be the largest flower on the planet. The flower itself does not have a structural stem, leaves, or roots. But what it does have is the pungent odors of decomposing flesh, hence the nickname corpse flower. It grows three feet in diameter, and weighs up to 24 pounds. The Rafflesia is parasitic, growing on the Tetrastigma vine in the forests of Borneo and Sumatra.
3. Georgia Aster Symphyotrichum georgianum is native to southeastern United States. According to NatureServe.com, a conservation organization, this plant first grew in small clumps, but now there are about 60 populations of this plant due to natural habitat development. 4. Wiggin's Acalypha Acalypha wigginsii is native to a tiny part of the Galapagos Islands. Construction work and loss of habitat are the main reasons these plants have declined in number. They are considered a critically Endangered by the Galapagos Conservation Trust.
5. Texas Wild Rice Zizania texana only has 140 clumps left, with a seemingly grim future ahead. Growing only in the freshwater of San Marcos River, this plant is endangered by lowering water levels caused by the Spring Lake Dam, according to the Center of Plant Conservation. 6. Howell's Spectacular Thelypody Helypodium howellii spectabilis only has five populations remaining, all of them in Oregon's northeast. In 1999, about 30 thousand plants remained, but its population drops annually due to unnecessary grass mowing in the areas this plants calls home.
7. Oahu stenogyne This member of the mint family was said to be extinct in 2000, until one sighting of a plant confirmed it was still alive. Growing only in the Waianae Mountains of the island of Oahu, the Stenogyne kanehoana has dense, furry leaves. In 2001 in the Lyon Arborteum, it was discovered that cuttings of this plant can be grown successfully in captivity. 8. Ouachita Mountain Goldenrod Thought to be a remnant of the last ice age, the actual population of Solidago ouachitensis is unknown. It live in three counties along the border of Arkansas and Oklahoma. It prefers to live in a cool moist climate, like the crests of Ouachita Mountains.
9. Baishan Fir Abies beshanzuensis is a species of fir in the family Pinaceae. It is endemic to Baishanzu Shan in southern Zhejiang province in eastern China, where it grows at 1,850 metres altitude and is threatened by collection and climate change. 10. Arizona Agave With less than 100 plants alive in 1984, Agave arizonica has managed to keep its population from declining considerably. Only two populations have survived, both located in Tonto National Forest of scalding Arizona. The New River Mountains and Sierra Anchas Mountains are thought to be the only habitats of this rare specimen by the Center of Plant Conservation.
ENDANGERED AND THREATENED SPECIES OF ANIMALS Endangered animals are those species that are in danger of going extinct. Their reproductive rates are lower than their mortality rates over long periods of time, so their numbers are diminishing. The reasons for this are varied, but lately, very often involves a loss of habitat as people encroach on their living areas. When a species is listed as endangered or threatened, it is not a death sentence. Many animals, like the bald eagle and the American alligator, were on the brink of extinction and are now recovering. Many species, however, will not recover, and could be lost forever. Throughout time, animal species have been going extinct (long before people evolved); paleontologists estimate that well over 90 percent of all plant and animal species that ever existed have gone extinct.
The Endangered Species List 2013: Top Ten Most Endangered Animals 1. Ivory-Billed Woodpecker The Campephilus principalis, which lives or lived in the Southeastern part of the US as well as Cuba. This huge woodpecker was considered extinct until 2004. However, definitive proof for the ivory-bill’s continued existence has remained elusive, and if a population does exist, it is likely to be tiny and extremely vulnerable. The ivory-billed woodpecker owes its near- or complete extinction to habitat loss (logging) as well as overexploitation by humans, who hunted it for its feathers. 2. Chinese Pangolin The particular subspecies Manis pentadactyla is especially threatened, since it is the easiest to catch. Unlike other tree-dwelling pangolins, Manis pentadactyla lives in clearly distinguishable underground burrows that are easily spotted and dug up to capture the animals. They are hunted throughout Asia for export to China, mostly for medicinal purposes but also for their meat and skins. Pangolins can fetch more than $95 U.S. per kilogram in the open market, so even in protected areas they are being relentlessly hunted.
3. Javan Rhinoceros The Javan rhinoceros Rhinoceros sondaicus is the most endangered of the world’s five rhinoceros species, with an estimated 40-60 animals remaining on the western tip of the Island of Java (Indonesia) in Ujung Kulon National Park. The last member of another tiny population in Vietnam’s Cat Tien National Park was killed by poachers in 2011. The water- and swamp-loving Javan rhinoceros formerly ranged throughout Southeast Asia and Indonesia, but has been hunted to nearextinction for its horn, which is used to make Asian folk medicines. Although it is now protected, it may not have a large-enough breeding population to prevent the species from going extinct. 4. Northern Sportive Lemur Lepilemur septentrionalis are around 100 species of these primates, all of which live on the Island of Madagascar, off the southeast coast of Africa. Virtually all of them are declining dramatically in population, mostly because of habitat loss due to logging in the forests where they live—but also because of illegal hunting. Many lemur species are listed as Endangered or Critically Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
5. Northern Right Whale The most endangered of all the world’s whale species, the northern right whale Eubalena glacialis numbers around 350 individuals that travel the Atlantic coasts of Canada and the US. It was full of valuable whale oil, but it floated after it was dead, which made it easy to handle and process. As a result, it was driven to near extinction. Global climate change, which can affect the availability of the tiny crustaceans on which right whales feed, may prove to be another serious threat to their recovery. 6. The Saola—An Asian Unicorn The saola Pseudoryx nghetinhensis has been referred to as the Asian unicorn because it is so rare and seldom seen. It is also Critically Endangered, with no more than several hundred individuals remaining in several isolated areas of tropical forest stretching along the border between Vietnam and Laos. The saola was first discovered in 1992, and since then has been seen only a handful of times, even by researchers who were looking very hard. In fact, until late 2013 when a camera trap in Vietnam took photos of a single animal, no live saola had been spotted for 15 years. Illegal hunting and trapping are the main factors pushing the saola toward extinction.
7. Bactrian Camel Camelus ferus was once prolific across the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and northwest China, the wild Bactrian Camel population had been reduced to less than 1,000 animals by 2004. Droughts in the Gobi have reduced the amount of water resources for the camels. Each year, about 20 Bactrian Camels are intentionally killed by miners and hunters when they migrate out of protected areas across the Mongolian border into China. 8. Siberian (or Amur) Tiger The Amur, or Siberian, tiger Panthera tigris altaica is the largest big cat in the world, weighing up to 300 kilograms (660 pounds)..The Amur tiger lives in the birch forests of Russia’s frigid and snowy Far East, and formerly inhabited the colder regions of China and Korea. In fact, the animal thrives in winter temperatures that often drop to -50 degrees Fahrenheit (-45 Celsius). Due to relentless hunting, Russia’s tiger population had dropped to around 40 individuals by the 1930′s. Since then, the animal has been protected, and its numbers have rebounded to around 500. However, it is still threatened by illegal hunting and habitat loss in the form of logging and development.
9. Gharial Gavialis gangeticus is also among the critically endangered species of crocodile. Known for elongated jaws and sharp interlocking teeth nearly 100 in number, this largest creature among its species can be 20 to 23 feet in length (male), weighing about 160 kgs. Also called gavial. Found in the rivers of Northern India subcontinent, they prefer aquatic lifestyle and mainly eat small fish, frogs and insects. 10. Markhor Capra falconeri endangered large wild goat with twisting horns is confined to a limited geographical region comprising northern and central parts of Pakistan, parts of Jammu and Kashmir, southern parts of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Local people still believe that the foam like substance, which comes out of its mouth while chewing the cud, can extract venom out of snake-bite wounds. Males have black beard and the horns can be as 1.6 meters, though females have short and slender horns.
Endangered Species Need Your Help! Here Are Some Ways That You Can Get Involved: •One of the most important ways to help threatened plants and animals survive is to protect their habitats permanently in national parks, nature reserves or wilderness areas. There they can live without too much interference from humans. It is also important to protect habitats outside reserves such as on farms and along roadsides. •You can visit a nearby national park or nature reserve. Some national parks have special guided tours and walks for kids. Talk to the rangers to find out whether there are any threatened species and how they are being protected. You and your friends might be able to help the rangers in their conservation work. •When you visit a national park, make sure you obey the wildlife code: follow fire regulations; leave your pets at home; leave flowers, birds’ eggs, logs and bush rocks where you find them; put your rubbish in a bin or, better still, take it home.
•If you have friends who live on farms, encourage them to keep patches of bush as wildlife habitats and to leave old trees standing, especially those with hollows suitable for nesting animals. •Some areas have groups which look after local lands and nature reserves. They do this by removing weeds and planting local native species in their place. You could join one of these groups, or even start a new one with your parents and friends. Ask your local parks authority or council for information. •By removing rubbish and weeds and replanting with natives you will allow the native bush to gradually regenerate. This will also encourage native animals to return.
We should save endangered animals so that the future generations can experience their presence and value. Plants and animals are responsible for a variety of useful medications so they should be protected to maintain the production of the medicine. They are also the foundation of healthy ecosystems therefore without them there is no ecosystem.
THANK YOU Done By: SADIA ZAREEN
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