An endangered species is a population of organisms which is at risk of becoming extinct because it is either few in numbers, or threatened by changing environmental or predation parameters. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has calculated the percentage of endangered species as 40 percent of all organisms based on the sample of species that have been evaluated through 2006. Many nations have laws offering protection to conservation reliant species: for example, forbidding hunting, restricting land development or creating preserves. Only a few of the many species at risk of extinction actually make it to the lists and obtain legal protection. Many more species become extinct, or potentially will become extinct, without gaining public notice.
• Extinct: the last remaining member of the species has died, or is presumed beyond reasonable doubt to have died. Examples: Thylacine, Dodo, Passenger Pigeon, Caribbean Monk Seal
• Extinct in the wild: captive individuals survive, but there is no free-living, natural population. Examples:South China Tiger, Alagoas Curassow
• Critically endangered: faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the immediate future. Examples: Arakan Forest Turtle, Javan Rhino, Brazilian Merganser, Gharial
• Endangered: faces a very high risk of extinction in the near future. Examples: Blue Whale, Giant Panda, Snow Leopard, African Wild Dog, Tiger, Albatross, Crowned Solitary Eagle, Dhole, Rangas
• Vulnerable: faces a high risk of extinction in the medium-term. Examples: Cheetah, Gaur, Lion, Sloth Bear, Man, Wolverine, Manatee
• Conservation Dependent: The following animal is not severely threatened, but the animal must depend on conservation programs. Examples: Spotted Hyena, Leopard Shark, Black Caiman
• Near Threatened: may be considered threatened in the near future. Examples: Blue-billed Duck, Solitary Eagle, Small-clawed Otter , Maned Wolf
• Least Concern: no immediate threat to the survival of the species. Examples: Brown Rat, Nootka Cypress, Wood Pigeon, Harp Seal. [Wiki]
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