Threatened Species of
Plants and Animals
What are endangered and
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
•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
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.