Endangered Species Recovery
An animal or plant that is at risk of becoming extinct is put on a list of endangered species. This is important because it gives protection to that particular species to keep it from becoming extinct. The goal of Endangered Species Recovery is to restore that animal or plant to the point where it no longer needs protection.
- The destruction of habitat is the biggest reason that species become endangered. For the recovery of these animals and plants, it is important to create things like national parks and wildlife preserves.
- The Endangered Species Act was signed into law in 1973 by President Richard Nixon. This includes laws to help protect endangered species and their habitat and lays out plans for the recovery of these species.
- The Endangered Species Act has been very successful. It has prevented the extinction of over 200 species and is currently protecting over 1,600 plant and animal species.
- An increase in the number of a predator of a species can cause that species to become endangered. It is important that a balance is maintained in the natural ecosystem.
- Each species is important to every ecosystem. For example, when there were few wolves in Yellowstone National Park, the deer population increased. The high number of deer eating young trees caused a decline in the number of song birds in the area.
- We can help protect wildlife habitat by leaving parts of farmland and other property in its natural state. It’s important to leave old trees and shrubs so that they can provide homes and shelter for animals. Towns and cities can leave areas in their natural state to protect plants and animals.
- Planting native plants on your property helps encourage native birds, butterflies, and other insects to the area and helps protect them.
- There are three steps to endangered species recovery in the United States. First the endangered species need to be identified. Scientists do the research necessary to decide which plant and animal populations are in decline. Second, short term measures are taken to protect the species. Third, long term recovery plans are made to protect the species.
Ecosystem: A community of living organisms that live and interact with each other in a particular area.
Native Plants: The species of plants that are found naturally in an area and have not been brought in from another area or country.
Questions and Answers
Question: Does plant and animal extinction happen naturally?
Answer: Yes, plant and animal extinction happens naturally at a rate of about 1 to 5 per year. Unfortunately, scientists estimate that we are currently losing 1,000 to 10,000 times that many.
Watch a video about endangered species recovery.