What is an “endangered animal”?

Have you seen how many new sea creatures we have on the LEGO® Friends reef already?? WOW!! But what makes animals become endangered? And what can we do to save them? Everyone is good at something. Whatever you love to do, you can use it to help the environment and animals. Math, art, writing, fixing or designing things, science, taking care of animals, upcycling, teaching others. Every field of work needs someone just like you to find even better solutions to protect the environment in the future. Maybe something you learn today can inspire you to do small or big things now or in the future? How many animal species live on Earth? There are roughly 1 million identified species on Earth. Still, new species are discovered every day. There may be as many as 8 million different kinds of animals on our planet. That’s almost as many species as there are people living in New York City! Of the species we know today, some have been around for millions of years. How many humans live on Earth? Humans have only been on Earth for about 200,000 years. In the last 200 years, the world’s population has grown from less than 1 billion to more than 7 billion. That means we take up more space, we eat and use more of Earth’s resources, and we produce more waste. Why do animals become endangered? Animals need safe places to live and food to eat, too. A species can become rare, vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered. This happens when a large part of the population disappears faster than they can have babies of their own. - Some animals have been hunted by humans for sport, food or trophies until there are just a few left. - Some have lost their homes or food supplies where people have built cities or harvested crops the animals used to eat. - Some animals have trouble adjusting to the rising temperatures and extreme weather changes. - And just like humans, animals can get sick from pollution in the air, on land and in the oceans. What is being done to save endangered animals? Millions of people around the world are already working hard to reduce pollution and make the world safer and cleaner for humans and animals: - Environmental organizations - Wildlife conservations and reserves - Biologists - Zoo personnel - Engineers - Vets - Private companies - Food companies - Fishermen - Cargo companies - Even families and kids - And many, many more! What can kids do to help? Lots! All you need is a little curiosity to learn more: - Ask your parents or teachers to tell you more about rare animals - Ask your parents or teachers to join an organization that helps endangered animals or the environment - Find more articles here on LEGO® Life about how you can help reduce waste and save the oceans. - Tell your friends to get curious and learn more, too! Sources: https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/directory?page=2&sort=extinction_status https://www.iucn.org/resources/conservation-tools/iucn-red-list-threatened-species https://www.iucnredlist.org/

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