What Is An Endangered Species?

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What is an Endangered Species? An Endangered Species is defined as “a species at risk of extinction because of human activity, changes in climate, and/or changes in predator-prey ratios” ( The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) has the responsibility of keeping the records of all endangered species. In order to be recognized as an endangered species, the following questions must be answered: “Has a large percentage of the species vital habitat been degraded or destroyed? Has the species been over-consumed by commercial, recreational, scientific or educational uses? Is the species threatened by disease or predation? Do current regulations or legislations inadequately protect the species? Are there other manmade factors that threaten the long-term survival of the species?” (Endangered Species Act - National Wildlife Federation). An endangered species list consists of seven levels. These include least concern, near threatened, vulnerable, endangered, critically endangered, extinct in the wild, and extinct. Each level has sub classifications as well. Currently, there are over forty thousand reported endangered species worldwide. Five percent of those occupy our oceans ("Threatened and Endangered Species”). However, the numbers are continuously changing. As humans, we look at our oceans as a source of unlimited resources. Unfortunately, that is not the case. On the bright side, even though an organism is on the endangered species list, endless efforts do

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