What is an endangered species?
An endangered species is one which is threatened with extinction in the near future due to a declining population or other factors.
Whether an animal is listed as endangered can be determined by a range of organisations. The main global authority for listing and assessing if species are endangered is the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) through their red list.
Further information on the red list is included below.
An animal may also be listed as endangered by the government of a country through legislation.
Animal’s may be globally endangered across their entire range or they may be locally endangered within a specific area.
The IUCN Red List
The IUCN red list is the premiere resource for determining the likelihood of an animal going extinct. They complete in depth assessments of the animal’s population and then group them in to one of nine categories from least to most threatened.
The red list is managed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
As of 2020 116,000 species has been assessed for inclusion on the red list. Over 31,000 of these species have been listed as threatened.
The nine categories used to assess the species are listed below in order of least to most threatened going from left to right.
IUCN Red List Categories
A species is listed as not evaluated if an assessment has not been conducted yet to determine how threatened the population is.
A species is listed as data deficient when there has not been enough research to determine how threatened the population is.
A species is listed as least concern when it is not currently threatened and is not at risk of becoming threatened in the immediate future.
A species which is not facing an immediate threat but a changes in its environment or habitat availability would make it threatened.
A species which is currently at risk of extinction but its decline is not occurring fast enough for it to be considered endangered yet.
A species is endangered when it is soon to become extinct but it’s decline is progressing at a slower rate than a critically endangered species.
A species is critically endangered when changes in their population size or habitat availability have meant it is close to becoming extinct.
Extinct in the Wild
An animal is extinct in the wild when the same process has occurred declaring it extinct in the wild but there are still some in captivity.
An animal is extinct when exhaustive surveys prove that there is no doubt that the last individual of this species has died.
Endangered Species Profiles
Below are the animal’s on our website which are endangered. Click the picture to learn more about them. They are grouped by the type of animal.
We use the IUCN Red List for our endangered rankings. Animal listed below are classed as vulnerable, endgangered, critically endangered or extinct in the wild on the Red List. You can find those which are not evaluated, data deficient and least concern species on our other fact file pages.