Endangered Animals!

What do pandas, orangutans, rhinos, and gorillas
have in common? Aside from being animals that you probably
only see at the zoo, these animals are all endangered. Scientists say an animal is ‘endangered’
when there aren’t many of them living in the wild anymore. And any kind of animal can become endangered
— birds, insects, reptiles, and of course, mammals. For example, meet the amur leopard. This kind of leopard lives in a small area
in Eastern Asia. And there are only a /very few of them left
in the wild. Scientists think that, not counting the ones
in zoos, there are only about sixty amur leopards on the entire planet! So they’re definitely endangered. But how do animals become endangered? There are a few good answers to that question. But probably the common cause of animals becoming
endangered is when they lose too much of their habitat. An animal’s habitat is the place where it
lives… …that’s right Squeaks! An animal’s habitat is its home. It’s where an animal can get all of the
things that it needs to stay alive. Animals need things like… …enough food to eat…clean water to drink…air
to breathe…space to move around…and shelter. Plus, mother animals need a safe place to
lay their eggs or to have and raise their babies. So, habitats can be very different, for different
animals. One animal’s habitat might help keep it
dry and warm. For another, it might help an animal stay
cool, wet, and well-hidden from predators. An animal’s habitat might be large, or it
might be very small. But there’s one thing that all habitats
have in common. They can only support so many animals. If a habitat starts to get smaller, that means
that fewer animals can live in it. This is what happened to the amur leopard. Its habitat used to be a lot bigger. But people started to cut down trees in the
forest where the leopard lived, to use for lumber and to make space to build houses. So over time, the leopard’s habitat got
smaller and smaller. The leopards started to have a hard time finding
enough food, and enough safe spaces to raise their cubs. So after a while, there were fewer and fewer
amur leopards in the wild…until there were so few that scientists said that this kind
of leopard was endangered. Pollution can also change an animal’s habitat. Pollution is anything that makes the earth
unhealthy, like litter and trash, or the dirty smoke that comes out of cars and power plants. When pollution gets into an animal’s habitat,
it can keep an animal from having safe food to eat or water to drink. In some birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians,
pollution can prevent eggs from hatching. Pollution changed the habitat of a bird called
the brown pelican. The brown pelican lives near the ocean, where
it eats fish. And about seventy years ago, people sprayed
a chemical around to try and get rid of pesky insects like mosquitos. But the chemical polluted the water in the
brown pelican’s habitat. Some pollution ended up in the fish that the
pelicans ate, which made the birds sick, and kept many of their eggs from hatching. Soon, there were fewer pelicans. For a while, the brown pelican was endangered. But scientists and other people solved the
problem! They told other people about the problem,
and soon everyone stopped using the chemical, and the pelican’s habitat became clean again. More baby pelicans began to hatch…and, in
most places, the brown pelican is no longer endangered! This big brown bird is a great example of
what can happen when we find out that an animal is endangered. People can work together to try to clean up
an animal’s habitat if it’s polluted. Or, if an animal’s habitat is getting too
small, like the amur leopard’s forest, people can try to plant more trees to make the habitat
bigger again. Now, you may not know it, but you’re helping
endangered animals right now! One of the best things that kids can do to
help is to learn about animals that are endangered. You can also help out animals that live in
your area by taking care of their habitats. That means doing things like recycling, and
throwing garbage away instead of littering, and working with other kids and grownups to
clean up your neighborhood! Everyone deserves a clean and healthy habitat. Thanks for joining me on SciShow Kids! Do you have a question about your favorite
animal—or something else? Ask a grownup to help you to leave a comment
on this video, or to send an email to [email protected]!


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