Endangered species

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By Allan Randalleducation writer, Derbyshire

Endangerment of species is a broad issue and one that involves the protection of habitats and the complex relationship between species

Many species of animals and plants are endangered – some are even close to extinction. It is estimated that in the rainforests alone more than 100 species become extinct every month, many of which are yet to be identified. Endangered species must be protected and saved so that future generations can experience and enjoy the biodiversity of our world. Many plants and animals could also have food or medicinal value as yet unknown.

Due to human activity and its impact on climate and habitats, the rate of extinction is 1000 times higher than at any other time in history. Our ecosystems are fragile and complex. Scientists estimate that the loss of a single species may trigger the loss of up to 30 additional species as food chains are broken or pollinators are lost. There are four main factors that lead to species becoming endangered. These are: habitat destruction or fragmentation, overexploitation, the introduction of alien or exotic species and pollution. Here are just two examples of the many British species currently in decline. The feature continues in this month’s ‘Focus on…’ which looks at the song thrush, another species in need of protection.

Case study: Red squirrel [sciurus vulgaris]

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