Free research paper example on Endangered Animals :
Endangered animals refers to wild animals which are under threat of extinction or which have become extinct. Sixty-five million years ago the dinosaurs became extinct, sixty-five million years later, the lives of many animals are still under threat. Endangered species are victims of human activities, these activities includes destruction of natural habitats, pollution produced by factories and over exploitation as well as overpopulation.
The American Indians, who settled north America 30,000 years before the Europeans were responsible for the extinction of many species through hunting, species such as the giant sloths and Mastodons. Since the Europeans settlers arrived in the New World, the rate of extinction has accelerated. The passenger pigeons is believed to have been the most numerous type bird in the world. They were hunted endlessly and in 1914, the last one died in an American zoo. Bison became nearly extinct during the 1800s due to the expansion of the railroads which caused destruction of habitats and the need of food for the builders. Other animals in North America that are considered to be endangered; The California Condor is North America’s rarest bird. The last remaining birds are being kept in zoos and are bred in a special recovery program. The Whopping Crane is another one of North America’s endangered species. By the 1990s there were close to 150 in the wild, it’s numbers are slowly building up. On July 12, 1995 Bald Eagle was reclassified as endangered animals. The majestic bird is referred to “bald”, because of the white feathers on top of it’s head, it’s yellow eyes and sharp beaks in contrast with it’s dark brown body. This predatory bird can grow up to 40 inches long with wings span of 6-8 feet, who can reach flight speed between 35 and 44 miles per hour.
Unfortunately, there are only 4,500 breeding pairs in the lower 48 states. The Bald eagle’s diet consist of fish, waterfowl(small birds), small reptiles and small to medium size mammals. In 1947, Bald Eagles begin to decline severely, and DDT was found in the carcasses. DDT was a common pesticide used in water to control mosquitoes. During the stages of the food chains, fish consumed mosquitoes, and Bald Eagle prey on the fish, therefore DDT was transfered from the mosquitoes to the Bald Eagle. DDT that are found in the tissue of the Bald Eagles, the chemical weakened the shells of the eagle’s egg until they simply collapsed from the weight of the mother bird. DDT was banned on 31, December 1972, and since than the number of eagles which are protected by the Endangered Species Act as well as other federal and state laws, have begun to increase.
Nearly half of the world’s rain forests lie in Brazil, the Amazon Forests contain over three million square miles of tropical forest, with large quantity as well as quality timber which is worth over one trillion US dollars, it also contains over 50.000 species of plants and 20 percent of all known birds. The Amazon Forests were remote and inaccessible, leaving the wildlife undisturbed, however, roads begun to build over this wilderness which made it accessible to humans and machines. The greatest damage to wildlife comes from lumber companies, ranch farmers and fur hunters. Jaguars became fashionable for fur coats and other items during the 1960s, as the jaguars became rare, the fur hunters used other alternatives, such as the Ocelots, the Ocelot is much smaller than the Jaguar but they have a similar fur pattern. The Ocelots became more difficult to hunt, the hunters began hunting other mammals such as the Margay and Geoffroy’s Cats, these felines once roamed over
Central and South America, but are now extinct or endangered. The Giant Anteater is found in the forest and swampy areas from Mexico down through Central and South America. It dwells in places that are not inhabited by people. The Anteater is covered by bushy, dark gray and black fur with a white stripe on each shoulder, with a 40 cm long puffy tail. The Anteater has a cylinder shaped head with a long, tubular mouth, it has no teeth but a tongue which can extend as long as 25 cm, the long tongue is flicked in and out rapidly to scoop up ants, termites and other insects. The main threat to the Giant Anteater are humans, human population invasion, habitat destruction are some of the major threats. Forest fire is a major factor which threatens these animals, since their fur is very long and flammable, they are commonly found burned to death after severe forest fires.
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