More than 230 million years ago, dinosaurs walked the planet. About 165 million years later, they were extinct, most likely done in massive asteroid that crashed into Earth.
In the not-so-distance future, many species of animals that are alive today may follow in the dinosaurs' footsteps. Most will have been done in not by an object from space, but because of humans. As people chop down more and more forests, take over vast amounts of land for crops, and pollute the air and oceans, animals are disappearing at the frightening rate.
Top 10 Endangered Species
- Leatherback turtle
- Mountain gorilla
- Sumatran orangutan
- Atlantic bluefind tuna
- Snow leopard
- Javan rhino
- Irrawaddy dolphin
- Asian elephant
TRY IT! Your Help MattersThe good news is that conservation efforts have helped save many animals from becoming extinct. In the 1960s, the bald eagle was in danger of being wiped out, with fewer than 450 nesting pairs in the continental U.S. Today, there are close to 10,000 couples and the future looks bright.
Here are some ways you can help save threatened animals.
- Learn all you can about endangered animals. The more you know, the more you can help.
- Share what you learn with others. Pick an endangered animal and do a school project on it, or design a poster and put it up where people can see it.
- Write and put on a play about an endangered animal. Cast your friends and perform it at school or at a community center.
- Hold a fundraiser for endangered animals. You and your friends and neighbors can raise money by holding a bake sale, a car wash, or a yard sale.
- Adopt an endangered animal. Many organizations allow you to "adopt" an animal. The World Wildlife Fund is a good place to start.
- Volunteer at a nature center or wildlife refuge that cares for endangered animals.
- Write a letter to your senators, representative, or government officials and tell them why it is important to protect endangered species. Encourage your friends and neighbors to write, too.
Source: World Wildlife Fund