I went to Twycross Zoo last week. There are some endangered animals there and I’m going to tell you about some of them.
To see how endangered animals are, we use something called the Red List. There are different categories to show how endangered the animals are. These are: Least Concern, Near Threatened, Vulnerable, Endangered, Critically Endangered, Extinct in the Wild and Extinct.`
Snow leopards live in the Himalayan Mountains. They are endangered. They are threatened by habitat destruction, people killing them for their fur and people killing the prey they eat.
Amur leopards live in Russia and China. They are critically endangered. There are less than 40 Amur leopards left in the wild. Threats to the Amur leopard include habitat destruction. This includes things like cutting down trees for wood, people setting fire to the forests to clear land to grow crops and people building roads which split the leopards’ habitat up. Other threats are people killing them for their fur and people killing the prey they eat.
The siamang is an ape that lives in forests in southeast Asia. It is endangered. There are about 22,000 left in the wild but this number is getting smaller. This is because of people chopping down trees for wood and to clear land for farming. People also catch them to sell as pets.
The bonobos are one of my favourite animals at the zoo because they’re really messy! In the wild they live in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bonobos are endangered. The rainforests where they live are being destroyed and people hunt them for meat, traditional medicines and to make them into pets. Fighting in the country where they live has made it difficult for people to help them.
Aldabra Giant Tortoise
The Aldabra giant tortoise is another one of my favourite animals. I like them because they’re so big. They are vulnerable. In the wild they only live on a few islands in the Indian Ocean. All the other types of giant tortoise that used to live there are extinct. Some of the problems for Aldabra giant tortoises are predators and grazing animals that have been introduced onto the islands where they live by people. Predators like rats and cats eat the tortoises’ eggs and grazing animals like goats and cows eat their food. Their habitat is being damaged by people living there and building houses.
I saw variegated spider monkeys and black-headed spider monkeys. Spider monkeys live in forests in South America. Variegated spider monkeys and black-headed spider monkeys are both critically endangered. The forests where they live are being cut down very quickly to clear land for farming. They are hunted for meat. The numbers of spider monkeys in the wild are going down very quickly.
Western Lowland Gorilla
Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered. There is a big danger that they are going to become extinct. Their habitat is being destroyed and they are also hunted for meat. One of the biggest problems is gorillas catching illnesses from people which can make big groups of them get poorly and die. Western lowland gorillas only have babies every 4-6 years which means the number of gorillas can only increase very slowly.
Eastern Black Rhino
Eastern black rhinos are critically endangered. This is because of people killing them for their horns even though it’s illegal.
Giraffes are vulnerable. They used to be least concern but this was changed to vulnerable in 2016. The main threats to giraffes are people destroying their habitat and people killing them for their skins and meat. People used to kill giraffes just for their tails!
Chimpanzees are endangered. People are destroying the forests where they live by cutting down trees for wood and to clear land for farming. People also catch them to make them into pets and kill them for their meat.
Red-ruffed lemurs are critically endangered. Lemurs only live on one island called Madagascar. The main threats for red-ruffed lemurs are people chopping down trees for wood and burning forests to clear areas for farming and to build towns. People also catch them to make them into pets and kill them for their meat.
Sumatran tigers are critically endangered. They live in forests in Sumatra in Indonesia and there are less than 400 left in the wild. Their habitat is being destroyed for farming and growing crops. Sometimes this means the tigers have to go into human areas to look for food and they get killed. People also kill them to use their bones. fur and whiskers to make medicines.
Gibbons live in the south and southeast of Asia. I saw northern white-cheeked crested gibbons, agile gibbons and pileated gibbons. Northern white-cheeked crested gibbons are critically endangered. Agile gibbons are endangered. Pileated gibbons are endangered. The main threat for gibbons is habitat destruction because of trees being cut down for wood and to clear land for farming. Sometimes gibbons are caught to be turned into pets. When the forests where they live are cut down it’s easier for people to catch them.
The pancake tortoise is critically endangered. The grassland areas where they live are being cleared to be used for farming. Grazing animals like goats and cows eat their food and damage their habitat. Lots of pancake tortoises are caught to be turned into pets. They don’t have very many babies which means it takes a long time for the number of pancake tortoises in the wild to increase.
Borneo Orang Utan
Borneo orang utans are critically endangered. The forests in Borneo where they live are being chopped down to make room for palm oil plantations. Palm oil is in lots of things that we use and eat like bread, biscuits, soap and shampoo. Sometimes orang utans go into palm oil plantations and are killed because the farmers don’t want them there. Orang utans are also caught to turn into pets.
The yellow-shouldered amazon is a type of parrot that lives in forests and grasslands in South America. The yellow-shouldered amazon is vulnerable. Farmers sometimes kill them because they eat crops like mangoes, avocado and maize. They are sometimes caught to be turned into pets. They are also threatened by habitat destruction and predators that have been introduced by people.
Red-fronted macaws live in scrubland in South America. They are endangered. The main threat for red-fronted macaws is habitat destruction. When their habitat is destroyed and they can’t find enough food they sometimes eat crops and farmers kill them.
Humboldt penguins live in South America. They are vulnerable. The main problem for Humboldt penguins is people catching too many fish, which makes it hard for the penguins to find enough food.
I feel quite sad about all the endangered animals. It makes me feel like I want to do everything I possibly can do to help them.
Soon I am going to write about how you can help endangered animals.