Endangered Species Definition, Categories and Importance

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Endangered Species Definition

We have heard of the term “Endangered Species” many times, but what does it actually mean? Understanding the term will help in mitigating and solving the problems faced by these vulnerable creatures and working towards the urgent need for their conservation. In this blog, we will explore the definition of endangered species, know why are they important and how they impact our ecosystem.

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Definition of Endangered Species

To know about the concept of endangered species, let us first define it. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an endangered species refers to a group of organisms that face a high risk of extinction or are on the brink of extinction This classification is based on many factors including declining population numbers, declining habitat quality and declining reproductive rates.

Also Read – National Endangered Species Day 2023

The Categories- Endangered, Threatened and Extinct

Within the family of these endangered species, there are specific categories that help to decipher the level of risk faced by different organisms. The categories are – Endangered, Threatened, and Extinct.

  1. Endangered Species – Organisms that are classified under this category face a very high risk of extinction. Their population numbers have significantly declined and immediate action is required to prevent their complete disappearance from the World.
  2. Threatened Species – These species on the other hand are most likely to become endangered if conservation efforts are not undertaken and implemented. While their risk level is lower than endangered species, these organisms still require protection and attention for conservation for their long-term survival.
  3. Extinct Species – Unfortunately, some species have already reached the point of extinction. These species are no longer exist in the world and their loss has had unchangeable consequences for our ecosystem.

What is the Significance of Defining Endangered Species?

There lies a connection between humans, animals and the environment, hence there lies a significance in defining these species. Some of them are – 

  1. Biodiversity Preservation – Every species plays a vital role in maintaining the balance in our ecosystems and defining these species helps in preserving biodiversity. The loss of even one single species can cause disturbances in the food web cycle, which can lead to consequences for both nature and humanity.
  2. Conservation Prioritization – When you have a clear definition in front, you can prioritize the conservation and policies and allocate resources accordingly. Effective initiatives can only be taken when you know which species needs more effort.
  3. Ecological Stability – Endangered species often have unique niches within their own ecosystems and contribute to ecological stability. Hence, protecting them and safeguarding their overall health becomes the responsibility on our shoulders.

The Impact of Endangered Species Conservation

  1. Ecosystem Services – Endangered species play an important role in providing valuable ecosystem services. From pollination to nutrient cycles, these services are important for the well-being of humans and the functioning of the ecosystem. BY protecting them you ensure the continuation of these essential services.
  2. Economic Benefits – Endangered Species conservation also has economic benefits. Many species such as bees and butterflies are key pollinators for crops and contribute to agricultural productivity. Moreover, ecotourism on endangered species can generate revenue and support local economies.
  3. Ethical Responsibility – By recognizing the value of all species, it becomes our ethical responsibility towards the organisms to define them. It is our duty to protect these vulnerable creatures from extinction and preserve them to enrich our planet. Because one of the factors of their extinction is Human Intervention.

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Thus, after learning the endangered species definitions, we can understand the urgent call needed for their protection and sustainability. By pointing, out the impact of these creatures on the ecosystem and learning the significance of them, it will be possible for us as stewards of the earth to do our best in whatever way we can.

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