Endangered Animals Jypsy & shyane

Everybody makes ill-informed decisions. In Kanchanaburi, Thailand, is a testament to a recent one of mine. “Tiger Temple,” a sprawling monastery-cum-wildlife-sanctuary a few hours outside Bangkok, which functions both as a draw for tourist dollars and a home to over 70 tigers and other animals roaming the grounds.

Correction: The tigers aren’t exactly roaming. The tigers I saw during my visit were all chained, so that in the afternoons, paying visitors like yours truly can sign a quick waiver and dish over 500 baht — $16, roughly the equivalent of a (legal) massage in Bangkok — to get up close and personal with the tigers at the “Tiger Canyon.”

There, the animals are chained up and trained to sit quietly while tourists pose next to them. For an extra 1000 baht ($32), you can get your picture taken sitting on a tiger’s back, etc.

As Bryan wrote here last week, wild tiger populations across the globe are in dismal shape. Though by some estimates there are over 10,000 tigers in captivity in the U.S. alone, there are less than 3,500 wild tigers in the entire world today. Their numbers have suffered from habitat loss, loss of prey from human hunting, and poaching for their skins, body parts and bones, which are used for medicinal purposes. The same day I visited the temple, an article ran in the Bangkok Post that an enormous wildlife trafficking ring was broken up in Hanoi, a hub for the illegal wildlife trade in Asia. Over 1300 pounds of rare animal bones, including tiger and elephant bones, were confiscated in the raid.

The report claims, among other things, that the temple has illegally traded its tigers with tiger breeders in Laos to mix up the temple’s genetic pool, and that the temple does not have appropriate permission to breed tigers on property or enough information about the tigers origins or genetic makeup to meet international criteria for aiding tigers’ conservation. The report also writes the tigers are at risk of malnourished and routinely handled too roughly by staff. The temple has denied wrongdoing or mistreatment of the animals.

Look at the face of endangerment

Giant Panda

The giant panda is one of the most recognizable endangered species on earth. The large panda, native to the deciduous forest of eastern China, Myanmar and Vietnam has an ever-decreasing habitable environment because of encroaching human populations. Because of its limited diet of bamboo, the species can only be found in 20 small patches of forest. Chinese government and worldwide zoos are helping to prevent further destruction to its habitat and are promoting breeding.

Giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) are beloved around the world for their striking black and white coats and charming behavior. The giant panda is known as the panda bear, bamboo bear, or in Chinese as Daxiongmao, the “large bear cat”; in fact, its scientific name means “black and white cat footed animal.”

child-watching-giant-panda-at-national-zoo

A child watches one of the pandas on exhibit

at the Smithsonian National Zoo.

Credit: Wade Sisler CC-BY 2.0

Wild giant pandas are found in the mountains of central China in dense bamboo and coniferous forests at altitudes of 5,000 to 10,000 feet. Driven nearly to extinction by habitat loss and poaching, these elusive and secretive mammals are among the rarest in the world, with only an estimated 1,600 remaining in the wild.

The low reproductive rate of giant pandas makes them more vulnerable to threats and extinction. China has established a system of nature reserves to protect the species’ forested mountain habitat, and implements conservation and captive breeding programs to protect populations in the wild and to ensure a stable population of giant pandas in captivity.

China has long extended gifts and loans of giant pandas to zoos across the globe as symbols of friendship. Americans have delighted in seeing these goodwill ambassadors at zoos in the United States since Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing came to the United States during President Nixon’s time in office.

This is a wave goodbye because they are going to die

Onto the next of the many endangered species The Snow Leopard.

Tree Hugger

The snow leopard is a medium-sized cat that inhabits all along the mountain ranges of Central Asia. Snow leopards are known to live in the alpine and subalpine regions normally at an altitude of 3,350 – 6,700 meters (10,990 – 22,000 feet) above sea level. There were around 4,080 – 6,590 individuals estimated but the population is suspected to be lesser than 2,500 by now. The weight of snow leopards measures around 27 – 55 kg (60 – 120 lb), with few species can be as heavy as 75 kg (170 lb). The length of a tail measures at 75 – 130 cm (30 – 50 inches). These leopards are perfectly adapted for living in cold environments. They have stocky body and thick furs with their ears being rounded. They have a long tail that maintains an absolute balance while walking on mountain.

Save them

Snow leopards prey upon the blue sheep (bharal) of Tibet and the Himalaya, as well as the mountain ibex found over most of the rest of their range. Though these powerful predators can kill animals three times their weight, they also eat smaller fare, such as marmots, hares, and game birds.

One Indian snow leopard, protected and observed in a national park, is reported to have consumed five blue sheep, nine Tibetan woolly hares, twenty-five marmots, five domestic goats, one domestic sheep, and fifteen birds in a single year.

As these numbers indicate, snow leopards sometimes have a taste for domestic animals, which has led to killings of the big cats by herders.

These cats appear to be in dramatic decline because of such killings, and due to poaching driven by illegal trades in pelts and in body parts used for traditional Chinese medicine. Vanishing habitat and the decline of the cats' large mammal prey are also contributing factors.

Infant siamangs are popular in the illegal pet trade in Indonesia and are often caught by killing the mother. Many infants also die during this process or in their subsequent transportation. In addition to this, as an arboreal primate siamangs are particularly sensitive to logging activities and habitat fragmentation as brachiation, their method of locomotion through the trees, requires a continuous canopy.

The loss of a single species from its ecosystem affects other species that rely on it. The disappearance of one plant species may affect an entire food chain, starting with insects that live or feed on the plant, moving on to the birds and frogs that eat the insects, and ending with the larger animals like snakes, hawks, and foxes that prey on the birds and frogs.

Over 1,300 different species in the United States are listed as endangered or threatened. When people use pesticides to kill weeds, insects, and other pests, they can also harm other plants and animals that are not considered to be pests. That is why the EPA has a program to protect threatened and endangered species from pesticides that might be harmful.

Extinction means a species is gone forever

Many people think that animals like whales, fish, and wolves are the only endangered species. However, there are endangered or threatened species of shrimp, frogs, butterflies, grasses, spiders, fish, clams, snails, turtles, birds, orchids, squirrels, mice, deer, bats, and cacti.

Click on the pictures below to learn more about these endangered species. The plants and animals shown here are not necessarily threatened by pesticides; however, they are examples of of the many different species EPA is protecting.

Save them NOW!!!

Created By
Shyane Jackson
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Credits:

Created with images by Alexas_Fotos - "tiger predator fur" • Hazel Motes - "Happy Siamang"

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