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Name: D Cederlund
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Question:
Please tell us about some of your favorite endangered animals.



Replies:
I kind of like stegosaurus - an endangered animal that did not make it - it went extinct along with all the other dinosaurs 65 million years ago. You see, extinction is what happens to endangered species if the necessary conditions for their survival and reproduction are not preserved. I have a painting of passenger pigeons by the wildlife artist Owen Gromme (now deceased) who was old enough to see a live passenger pigeon, but who had to paint the picture using preserved specimens because the passenger pigeon is now extinct, possibly due to over-hunting. But hunting is not the greatest threat of extinction for most endangered species today. The major threat is loss of habitat - the kind of plant and animal community that provides food and shelter for endangered species.

Because people have been so successful at surviving and reproducing, they are starting to move into areas that used to be inhabited only by wild species, and people clear away the wild vegetation to grow the food and make the shelter they need to survive and reproduce. As a result, some really nice animals like gorillas, panda bears, and the spectacled bear of the Andes are being threatened with extinction.

Mortis



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