Elephants has declined by 60% since 1950, and

 Elephants are being poached, tigers are being poached as well, for their body parts. Magellanic penguins are threatened by oil spills, also because fish are changing areas in which they swim. Leatherback turtles, which are one of the largest living reptiles are endangered because they are being caught as by-catch and accidentally killed by fishing fleets. These are just a few examples out of many more. As you can see, humans are causing endangered animals, so why can’t humans leave animals alone. There’s over 23,000 animals that are endangered. Of that 23,000, 41% is amphibians, 34% conifers, which are trees or plants, 33% reef building corals, 25% mammals, 13% birds (Mary Bowerman) and there’s only one species left of living human beings. Bornean orangutans population has declined by 60% since 1950, and according to Scientific American, their numbers will fall by another 22% by the year 2025. Ili pika, which is a hamster like rodent, is extremely endangered, there are less than 1,000 left. This species was discovered in 1983, but the species has declined by 70% since we found them. In 75 years after we had found the white rhino, they had gone to near extinction. White rhinos were killed for sport and we thought the species was completely destroyed. In 1885, 20 white rhinos were discovered. These 20 were protected and bred for more than a hundred years. 98.8%of white rhinos occur in just four countries: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya. White rhinos are the only rhinos not endangered but they are being poached since they are the only ones left. At a time, there were over 20,000 rhinos in the wild, but now there are only 3 rhinos left, and they are held in captivity. 100 to 1,000 species have become endangered per million per year, and it’s mostly because of human-caused habitat destruction and climate change. About 200,000 years ago, before the modern humans evolved, less than a single species per million went extinct annually. Studies suspect that extinction will only increase. Refuges have kept extinction rates of many animals such as bird, mammals, and amphibians are 20% lower than they would’ve been without refuges. Close to 13% of the Earth’s land has been set aside for refuges, and only 2% of oceans are part of the refuge. (Christine Dell’Amore).  The Endangered Species Act was signed as a law by President Nixon in 1973. The Act aspires to prevent extinction, protect the ecosystem, and recover plants and animals. The Endangered Species act has only saved about 1% of all the endangered animals on the list. The Endangered Species act prohibits federal agencies from authorizing, funding or carrying out any action that would jeopardize a listed species, or destroy its habitat. Two key categories in the Act are Endangered, and Threatened. Endangered species are more severe of being extinct than threatened. A species can go up from a threatened species to an endangered species, or down, from endangered to threatened. Species could possibly be delisted if the threats to the species have been eliminated. 56 species since we have last checked have been delisted while 2,105 have been listed, that makes it about 1.3% of listed species have been delisted. People argue that the delisting percentage isn’t great but that isn’t the main goal of the law. The main goal is supposed to prevent extinction, and if you go off of that, the law has been a success. Half of 1% of species that were on the list have actually become extinct. By the time that species are put on the list as endangered or threatened, their numbers are drastically low that it’s extremely hard to prevent extinction. Wm. Robert Irvin the president and CEO of the advocacy group American Rivers says “The law acts as an emergency room. Recovery requires much longer treatment through actions under the full panoply of conservation laws and programs.” About 2,300 species are on the list, and approximately 675 are foreign species found only in areas outside of the U.S. 


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