What is happening to the environment?
Global warming, greenhouse gasses, destruction of forests, pollution of oceans, air and land are all harming the environment that animals depend on to live.
Many animals today are endangered or facing extinction as they struggle to cope with their changing environment. Changes in the environment are not something new. The environment has been changing for millions of years and many animals have adapted to the changes.
But now the changes are happening too quickly for some animals to adapt and they are in danger of dying out completely. This is called extinction.
Why should I care?
If all the forests were cleared and the oceans and air polluted, the balance of nature would be destroyed and the Earth would not be able to support any life.
Humans as well as animals would become extinct.
It is in your own interest as well as the animals to care about the environment and protect it. Some people say it is our responsibility to look after it for future generations.
What is being done to protect animals?
The best way to save endangered animals is to protect them and provide safe places for them to live.
In many countries it is now illegal to hunt certain endangered animals or sell products made from their bodies. Gorillas and Elephants are protected animals.
Many countries have set up protected areas called wildlife reserves where animals can live and increase in number. Areas of forest wilderness, tropical rain forests, wetlands and oceans have also become wildlife protection areas.
Huge areas in Africa have been made into wildlife parks to save the amazing animals that live there. However because of the size of the parks it is hard to protect the animals from poachers, especially elephant poachers.
Sometimes the protection of animals and where they live has come too late and many animals have become rare or have moved away because of damage by humans. Now many animals are being bred in zoos and then successfully reintroduced back into these areas.
To help animals survive it is vital to understand how animals live in the wild and the different types of environments or habitats they live in.