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Endangered Animal Species And Their Conservation And Preservation




November, 2013.


This project work looks into the world of endangered animal species, taking into cognizance the catalogue of the endangered animal species, reasons for their endangerment and the possible ways of protecting and preserving them from extinction.


Just like the dinosaur, the penguin-like great auk, the passenger pigeon, the zebra-like quagga, the thylacine, the Balinese tiger, the ostrich-like moa, the tarpan, and the mammoth, some animal species have also gone into extinction, while many others are on the verge of extinction; and still many others are daily endangered. Hence, there is a need to have a catalogue of the endangered animal species of the world, considering one continent after another; and the various reasons why these animals are being daily endangered will also be made bare; and of course, the possible ways to protect and preserve them.

It is pertinent to note that an endangered species is any species of organisms (plants and animals) that will go into extinction if nothing is done to stop the cause(s) of its decline; hence, endangered animal species are the species of animals facing a very high risk of extinction. Animal species that are in immediate danger of extinction are termed ENDANGERED SPECIES, while the species of animals that are likely to become endangered in the nearest future are termed THREATENED. However, other animal species that are not in immediate danger but that have small populations and so could in no time become extinct are called VULNERABLE or CANDIDATE species. At the moment, there are about 3080 endangered animal species world-wide. And to a very large extent, man is solely responsible for this ugly trend.

Presently, biologists have identified and named more than 1.75 million species of animals. Meanwhile, special attention is given to species which are threatened with extinction. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) shoulders the responsibility of protecting and conserving endangered plants and animal species which are catalogued in the Red List.

Concerned groups and individuals, alongside international bodies and local authorities have been taken proactive measures to protect endangered species from extinction. Since the history of mankind cannot be divulged from the evolutionary trend of animals, hence the next time you observe that an animal in your locality is maltreated, poached or endangered, kindly do all you can to protect them or do report to local authority in charge of endangered species.

Below are the taxonomical tools used to specify the degree of animals’ vulnerability:

  1. Extinct (EX): No reasonable doubt that the last individual of the species has died;

  2. Extinct in the Wild (EW): Species only survives in cultivation, captivity, or as a naturalized population well outside of its native range;

  3. Critically Endangered (CR): Species faces extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the immediate future;

  4. Endangered (EN): Species faces very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future;

  5. Vulnerable (VU): Species faces high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future; and

  6. Lower Risk (LR): Species does not satisfy criteria for above categories, but may be near threatened or dependent on conservation activities for survival.


On the continent of Africa, there are records of animal species that have gone into extinction and a number of others are enlisted in the Red List of endangered species. Some of these extant are preserved at wildlife parks, zoos and reserves while others graze freely within the vast African plains and forests. These animals are faced with unending threats ranging from hunting for food and sales by the locals; pollution from agricultural and industrial sources; disturbance by tourists; and habitat loss from forest clearance, agriculture, and herding.

Some of the endangered animal species in Africa include: zebra, red Columbus monkey, jerboa, ibex, Scimitar oryx, Dama gazelle, African elephant, as well as chimpanzee, black rhinoceros, white rhinoceros, vulture, ass, cheetah, sawfish, Cuvier’s gazelle and gorilla. Others in this group include blue crane, African wild dog, pygmy blue whale, African penguin, striped hyena, addax, Leopard, as well as Ethiopian wolf, ostrich and some reptiles. For the purpose of this project, few of these life-threatened animals will be discussed.

• Zebra

Plain Zebra Grevy’s Zebra

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