Jan 30, 2009

Crafty Uses for Your Home and Office Waste

There could be a couple of reasons that you’re interested in using waste for art and craft projects. Maybe you just want some ideas for alternative things to do with your waste other than throwing it away or just recycling. Alternatively, perhaps you enjoy crafting but don’t want to waste resources. Besides, commercial craft materials can be very expensive!
Crafty projects with waste are only limited by your imagination. Here we have rounded up a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing! 
Pots and Jars
Plastic pots and jars can come in handy for all sorts of craft projects. At the simplest level you can use yogurt pots and glass jars as little paint pots and glue holders. Children will also enjoy using food packaging for playing shop - cheaper than the plastic toy food you’ll buy in toy shops that’s for sure!
If you come across any pretty bottles or glass jars they make nice storage containers or vases. You can even get some glass paints and set about making your own eye-catching designs.

There are loads of fashion statements you can make with household waste. People are increasingly trying to create a unique style and by customising your own look with unwanted household waste you’ll definitely look more original than if you spend loads on the high street.

Old clothes can be customised in numerous ways. Cutting up and reconstructing old T-shirts is especially popular. Your male friends or relatives may have some old T-shirts that are too big which you can personalise. Band T-shirts are especially trendy. Some ideas include lacing coloured ribbon up the sides or the back, adding lace and sewing on sequins and beads.

If you live with someone who likes to sew you can bet there will be a box of mixed buttons around somewhere. They are like treasure to some crafters and clothing be-decked with buttons is really fashionable at the moment. Use them to jazz up dresses, shirts and T-shirts, making them into ear-rings, string them into a necklace and decorate brooches and hair pins. If you are ever recycling or re-using the fabric from shirts and jackets always cut the buttons off and add them to your button stash.

Boys don’t have to be left out either. Jeans, T-shirts and shirts can all be jazzed up with fabric paints, screen-printing or some strategic chopping.

There are even some instructions online for making a bag from old juice cartons. It might sound naff but they have a very modern, stylish Japanese look and if you saw one in a shop you’d pay over the odds. Just google ‘juice carton bag' for loads of instructions.  

Paper Goods

Most businesses and homes produce at least some waste paper. Magazines, newspapers and coloured papers are great for collage and decoupage.
If you’re an aspiring drawer or artist the blank side of waste paper is fine for practicing and is far less wasteful than buying drawing books.
You can even use old paper to make…more paper! Good instructions are available at www.ecofriendlykids.co.uk/PaperMaking.html


If you haven’t used all your leftover fabric up on making new fashions for yourself you can use them to jazz up your home. Old fabric can be shredded up to stuff cushions. You can also make the cushion covers from old tablecloths, curtains and bedspreads. Charity shops often have these items with retro designs on them.
Old lampshades can be fabric painted to brighten them up and modernise them. Check the instructions on the paint to make sure it’s suitable Look around trendy home décor sites and shops for design inspiration.
Using old records is popular these days. You can melt records to make unusual bowls and use sleeve art to decorate your walls, for decoupage and even to make bags and folders.
This article really only scratches the surface of crafts you can do using items you would initially presume were waste and fit for the bin. The possibilities are endless so get your thinking cap on - if you put your mind to it you can probably make yourself one from an old egg box!

How to make a house with waste materials

Recycled Houses

Jan 27, 2009

Bulb Buffoon


An opaque white or coloured bulb (a fused one), a large colourful printed balloon, a cardboard square, strong glue and red and black marble paper.

1. Stick the bulb onto the cardboard square with glue.
2. Cut out eyebrows and eyes from the black marble paper.
3. Cut out a nose and mouth from the red paper.
4. Stick these on the bulb as shown.
5. Now slip the open end of the balloon over the metal portion of the bulb.

Jan 26, 2009

Switch to LED and Save Energy

1. The LED advantage: LED (light emitting diodes) are solid state technology and offers the most efficient (energy savings) form of lighting available. In comparison to conventional incandescent light bulbs, LEDs can be equated at approximately 7 to 8 time equivalence. For example, a 3 watt LED can produce as much illumination as a 20 watt incandescent light bulb.

2. On average, LEDs last 3 to 5 times longer than fluorescents and 20 to 30 times longer than incandescent.

3. LED lamps allow less maintenance costs, lower heating and utility costs and reduces the need for higher rated cable, transformers and electrical components.

4. LED lamps are very resilient, shock and vibration proof and virtually waterproof.

5. LEDs are smaller and more compact and provide more light output per square inch than any other light source.

6. LED lamps produce very little heat and no UV rays, making them safer to handle and safer to use. Ideal for sensitive fabrics/paintings.

7. LEDs are not sensitive to extreme temperatures (unlike fluorescent).

8. Solid state LEDs can be controlled with a processor to achieve unique lighting effects.

9. LEDs are available in cool white, warm white and multiple colors.

10. LEDs draw (on average) about 1/10th the power of today's conventional lighting, providing new alternative solutions to conventional energy saving lamps. LEDs are the most environmentally friendly lamp technology.

11. Along with Fluorescent bulbs, LED technology is the future of lighting. It can reduce many types of pollution and meet the need for the continued world wide energy demand

Save Earth with LED lights

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. LED's are now found on almost every electronic device including MP3 players DVD , TV's, clock radios and computers. LED's have been popular for decades, however today they are cheaper, brighter and come in more colors than ever before. While the incandescent light bulb has been the light of choice for at least 100 years, many believe the LED will soon replace it. Here is how LED light bulbs work:

What is an LED Light Bulb?

LED's are very similar to traditional light bulbs, except that they fit directly into an electrical circuit. LED's do not have a filament, so they generally last for a long, long time without burning out. Because there is no filament, LED's do not get hot and require far less electric power than traditional light bulbs due to their efficiency. In fact, LEDs are illuminated by electrons that run through the semiconductor material that LEDs are connected to.

What is a Diode?

An LED is a light emitting diode. A semiconductor diode is a two-terminal device, sometimes described as a pn. An LED is fabricated from a semiconductor material. One side of the semiconductor is attached to the P side which is the anode; the other side of the semiconductor is attached to the N side, the cathode. Electricity can flow from the p side to the n side. However, no electricity can flow in reverse. In effect, therefore, a diode is a unidirectional conductor.

Components of an LED Light

Common components of an LED include: A whisker which is connected to the anode, the anvil, which is connected to the cathode, a lens to illuminate the light created for distances and a high impact plastic casing to protect the LED.

The Color of an LED Light

LEDs are available in a variety of colors. While popular colors include red, yellow and green, one of the most difficult colors to create is white. In fact, it is currently not possible to create pure white for mass production. Most LED flash lights or light bulbs today that are white in color are actually not pure white, but whitish-blue.

LEDs Offer Many Benefits

There are many reasons why LED Light bulbs continue to be popular. Here are some of the main benefits they offer:
  • LEDs are extremely efficient and require very little current to illuminate. Since they do not have a filament, LEDs don't heat up, making them perfect for many electronic applications where heat is detrimental. In a traditional light bulb, the vast majority (sometimes more than 80%) of the electricity used to illuminate a light bulb is wasted not in light, but in heat.
  • LEDs are manufactured within an epoxy resin epoxy, which means that that they are virtually indestructible. Compared to a traditional light bulb, an LED is far more durable.
  • LEDs can be mass produced. Just like traditional light bulbs, they are extremely affordable to produce in large numbers.
  • LEDs are considered to be solid state devices. Solid state refers to any item that has no moving parts. When an item has no moving parts, it is generally more reliable because of less friction and fewer parts that can malfunction.

Jan 23, 2009

Turn Waste Into Useful Items and Art

Make necklaces from old magazines and newspaper

Wow to make a tote bag from old clothing

THINGS TO MAKE AND DO - A propagator for small plants or seedlings

A propagator for small plants or seedlings
You need:
* 2 x 1.5 or 2 litre plastic soft drink bottles (labels removed), preferably including one with a coloured base
* A piece of wick
* Some soil, compost or growing mixture
* Water

To remove the label cleanly:
* Fill the bottle with hot water ( not too hot, or it will buckle).
* Screw the cap back on the bottle and in a short time the label should peel off.
* Empty the water out of the bottle.
1. Always be very careful when working with hot water.
2. Sharp scissors have to be used to cut the bottles, if you have a ragged cut edge on the bottle it may scratch fingers and hands. Care should be taken at all times.
1. Cut a 1.5 or 2 litre transparent plastic bottle at the widest point
2. Cut a slit in the cap. Thread a wick of absorbent cloth through to make a wick
3. Add water and rest the inverted top of the bottle in the base. Add soil and your plants.
4. Cut another identical bottle slightly above the "shoulder" and place on top as a propagator. Make holes in the screw cap (or leave it off) to allow air to circulate.

The Transformation of animals into food

Life on the farm isn't what it used to be. The green pastures and idyllic barnyard scenes portrayed in children's books have been replaced by windowless sheds, tiny crates, wire cages, and other confinement systems integral to what is now known as "factory farming."
Today the majority of farmed animals are:
* confined to the point that they can barely move,
* denied veterinary care,
* mutilated without painkillers,
* and finally slaughtered -- often while fully conscious.

Jan 16, 2009

Use waste materials to make something which is useful or decorative

Take a egg and just make a hole at the top and empty out of its content. Now paint the egg shell black leaving the centre portion. Paint its sides,its back leave as it resembles like a stomach of a penguin. Now cut two pieces of feather of paper and now paste it on the egg shels sides.Now take acap of a eye drop which has a pointed tip and place it on the top of the egg shell.Now make eyes with beads, catton or black paint.Make its feet with ctton and paint it black and now ur penguin is ready.

Jan 12, 2009

What is Green Building?

Green Building means different things to different people. At its core is the intent to plan, design, construct, maintain, and deconstruct buildings, neighborhoods, and cities to be healthier and more comfortable places to live and work for the people on the inside, and more environmentally friendly for everyone else on the outside.

Green Building Construction

What Are the Economic Benefits of Green Buildings?

A green building may cost more up front, but saves through lower operating costs over the life of the building. The green building approach applies a project life cycle cost analysis for determining the appropriate up-front expenditure.  This analytical method calculates costs over the useful life of the asset.
These and other cost savings can only be fully realized when they are incorporated at the project's conceptual design phase with the assistance of an integrated team of professionals. The integrated systems approach ensures that the building is designed as one system rather than a collection of stand-alone systems.
Some benefits, such as improving occupant health, comfort, productivity, reducing pollution and  landfill waste are not easily quantified. Consequently, they are not adequately considered in cost analysis. For this reason, consider setting aside a small portion of the building budget to cover differential costs associated with less tangible green building benefits or to cover the cost of researching and analyzing green building options.

What Are the Elements of Green Buildings?

Below is a sampling of green building practices.
  • Start by selecting a site well suited to take advantage of mass transit. 
  • Protect and retain existing landscaping and natural features. Select plants that have low water and pesticide needs, and generate minimum plant trimmings. Use compost and mulches. This will save water and time.
  • Recycled content paving materials, furnishings, and mulches help close the recycling loop.
Energy Efficiency
Most buildings can reach energy efficiency levels far beyond California Title 24 standards, yet most only strive to meet the standard. It is reasonable to strive for 40 percent less energy than Title 24 standards. The following strategies contribute to this goal.
  • Passive design strategies can dramatically affect building energy performance. These measures include building shape and orientation, passive solar design, and the use of natural lighting. 
  • Develop strategies to provide natural lighting. Studies have shown that it has a positive impact on productivity and well being.
  • Install high-efficiency lighting systems with advanced lighting controls. Include motion sensors tied to dimmable lighting controls. Task lighting reduces general overhead light levels.
  • Use a properly sized and energy-efficient heat/cooling system in conjunction with a thermally efficient building shell. Maximize light colors for roofing and wall finish materials; install high R-value wall and ceiling insulation; and use minimal glass on east and west exposures.
  • Minimize the electric loads from lighting, equipment, and appliances.
  • Consider alternative energy sources such as photovoltaics and fuel cells that are now available in new products and applications. Renewable energy sources provide a great symbol of emerging technologies for the future.
  • Computer modeling is an extremely useful tool in optimizing design of electrical and mechanical systems and the building shell.
Materials Efficiency
  • Select sustainable construction materials and products by evaluating several characteristics such as reused and recycled content, zero or low off gassing of harmful air emissions, zero or low toxicity, sustainably harvested materials, high recyclability, durability, longevity, and local production.  Such products promote resource conservation and efficiency.  Using recycled-content products also helps develop markets for recycled materials that are being diverted from California's landfills, as mandated by the Integrated Waste Management Act.
  • Use dimensional planning and other material efficiency strategies.  These strategies reduce the amount of building materials needed and cut construction costs.   For example, design rooms on 4-foot multiples to conform to standard-sized wallboard and plywood sheets. 
  • Reuse and recycle construction and demolition materials.  For example, using inert demolition materials as a base course for a parking lot keeps materials out of landfills and costs less. 
  • Require plans for managing materials through deconstruction, demolition, and construction. 
  • Design with adequate space to facilitate recycling collection and to incorporate a solid waste management program that prevents waste generation.
Water Efficiency
  • Design for dual plumbing to use recycled water for toilet flushing or a gray water system that recovers rainwater or other nonpotable water for site irrigation.
  • Minimize wastewater by using ultra low-flush toilets, low-flow shower heads, and other water conserving fixtures.
  • Use recirculating systems for centralized hot water distribution.
  • Install point-of-use hot water heating systems for more distant locations.
  • Use a water budget approach that schedules irrigation using the California Irrigation Management Information System data for landscaping.
  • Meter the landscape separately from buildings. Use micro-irrigation (which excludes sprinklers and high-pressure sprayers) to supply water in nonturf areas.
  • Use state-of-the-art irrigation controllers and self-closing nozzles on hoses.

Jan 9, 2009

Arctic makes top ten list

Each year Environment Canada releases its annual top-ten weather stories, this year the Arctic made the number two spot on the list.  Of noteworthy importance that led to the region making the weather listing was the record-setting retreat of sea ice during the month of August which saw an average of approximately 84,686 square kilometers lost per day — a staggering number which roughly translates into an area larger than New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island combined!  What is interesting about the August sea ice loss figure is that it was almost some 21,000 square kilometers above the 2007 numbers.  (The overall 2007 sea ice melt season is the current benchmark for minimum sea ice extent figures, 2008 being the runner-up.) 
With so much sea ice loss over the past several years, the Arctic region now has more first-year sea ice than previously observed and therefore on a volume basis is at its lowest levels in modern history!

Grass May Reduce Global Warming

Although you can't actually hear a cow burp they are constantly releasing methane. When they digest grass, micro flora in their gut breaks down. Methane is the majority of what is burped up, a contributing factor in greenhouse gases. Scientists from a plant breeding research center in Australia are developing a new kind of grass that has been tested in the lab and glasshouses and are now planning field trials. Farmers should be able to maintain their dairy herds, productivity and profitability while cutting down gassy burps and reducing their contribution to global warming.
The dairy industry definitely has an impact on greenhouse gas emissions and Britain's target is to cut them by 20% by 2010. The goal is to have 20-30% of milk producers trying out new technology to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the year 2015.

There is some controversy about the breakdown process of the new grass and if it in fact will reduce methane. A lecturer in farm animal health says that a diet too rich in highly digestible carbs can actually increase the amount of methane a cow belches out. And a professor of animal science says more digestible forage could push up a cows absolute methane emissions but productivity gains would mean less methane per unit of milk.

As long as this new technology remains new, I am sure there are some kinks that need to be worked out. If it pans out, it could really help the reach their greenhouse gas reduction goals in the UK and around the world.

School Children exposed to Pesticides?

A new report released by an environmental organization based in Eugene, Oregon called the Oregon Toxics Alliance reveals that children may unknowingly be exposed to toxics such as pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides. So the question is raised, are YOUR children safe from pesticides at schools?

The report indicates that children exposed to pesticides may show acute symptoms that may mimic other well known ailments such as headache, sore throat, and flu. The data from the report was pulled from three state agencies in the state of Oregon including the Dept. of Agriculture, the Dept. of Human and Health Services, and the Dept. of Forestry. It also cited 56 cases of suggested pesticide exposure at schools, bus stops, and child care facilities. The problem could be much worse than what is reported, and that worries Lisa Arkin, executive director for Oregon Toxics Alliance.

According to the Associated Press, this is not a new issue. Severe cases of pesticide exposure at schools have been reported in California and have even been attributed to death.

The Oregon Toxics Alliance is calling for better protection for children at schools through the implementation of Integrated Pest Management or IPM. IPM is a method for using less pesticides in favor of alternatives as well as best practices to protect people and the environment.

Jan 7, 2009

Endangered Species - Mammals

Endangered Mammals
Being mammals ourselves, we tend to feel passionately about the plight of other mammals, such as tigers and pandas. Most endangered mammal species are threatened by habitat loss, while a significant percentage continue to be hunted despite dwindling population sizes.

According to the IUCN, some 20 percent of all known mammal species are either threatened or endangered. That's nearly 1,100 species. Some, like the baiji, are likely beyond hope. Others, like the giant panda, continue to make strides in the right direction.


The addax is a rare antelope found in the deserts of Northwest Africa. It has a gray-brown shiny coat and a tuft of chestnut forehead hair. It has exceptionally long spiral horns that are prized by trophy hunters. It is a highly social animal that once occurred in herds of dozens of individuals. Today, most animals live alone or in pairs because of declining populations. Fewer than 500 individuals remain in the wild.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Hunting and habitat loss
Habitat: Desert
Location: Northwest Africa
Diet: Grasses and leaves

Like their horse and zebra relatives, wild asses have a long neck and legs and a mane on the back of the neck, which is erect on the African wild ass. They are light gray in summer, reddish gray in winter and have horizontal stripes along all four legs. They are found in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia, though their range once included Egypt, Sudan and Israel. They are threatened by hunting and habitat loss.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Hunting and habitat loss
Habitat: Hilly, rocky desert and temperate grassland
Location: Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia
Diet: Grasses, bark and leaves

African wild dogs are about the size of a medium-sized domestic dog. Historically, large packs of wild dogs roamed the savannas, plains and woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa, hunting in highly coordinated groups dominated by a breeding pair. Their numbers are now dwindling — mainly due to loss of habitat and poaching — and there may be only a few thousand individuals left in the wild.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Habitat loss and poaching
Habitat: Savanna, plains and woodlands
Location: Sub-Saharan Africa
Diet: Antelope, wildebeest, gazelles and similar animals

The anoa is one of the smallest cattle species, and one of the most endangered. They are found in the remote, undisturbed lowland forests of Sulawesi and nearby Southeast Asian islands, and tend to retreat to higher elevations of the forest in response to human presence. They live alone or in pairs, and spend much of their time feeding on grasses, leaves and herbs. The anoa is currently threatened by hunting and habitat loss.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Hunting and habitat loss
Habitat: Undisturbed, damp, dense forest
Location: Sulawesi and nearby Southeast Asian islands
Diet: Grasses, leaves and herbs

The Arabian oryx is an antelope that lives in nomadic herds. It follows the elusive desert rains and has several unique adaptations to living in a dry climate, including being able to go without water for weeks at a time. Now extinct in the wild, it once occurred throughout the Arabian Peninsula. As a flagship species — one that is popular and the target of conservation efforts — re-establishing oryx populations in the Arabian Peninsula may result in protections for many other species.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Hunting
Habitat: Plains and deserts
Location: Arabian Peninsula
Diet: Buds, grasses and leaves

The Asian buffalo is a cattle species that occurs in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Thailand, but its range was once much larger. It is a massive animal with heavy, flattened horns that are used to shovel and fling mud onto its back. Its preferred habitat is grasslands with abundant plant life and nearby watering pools for wallowing. The Asian buffalo is threatened by hunting, interbreeding with domestic stocks and loss of habitat, and there may be only a few thousand individuals left in the wild.

IUCN Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Hunting, interbreeding with domestic stocks and habitat loss
Habitat: Abundant grasslands near watering pools
Location: India, Nepal, Bhutan and Thailand
Diet: Grasses and other vegetation

Asian elephants are somewhat smaller than African elephants, their close relatives. Like all elephants, they live in small family groups and young calves are raised by their mothers as well as other members of the herd. Individuals communicate by vocalizations, foot stomping and postures, in order to stick together and to warn each other of approaching predators. The Asian elephant is rapidly declining due to loss of suitable habitat throughout its range.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Loss of suitable habitat
Habitat: Mainly scrub forest
Location: Parts of India and Southeast Asia
Diet: Grasses, bark, roots, leaves and other vegetation

The aye-aye is a species of lemur, a group of primates with large ears, long limbs and a long body. It has coarse black hair, huge eyes, a pointy nose, and a distinctive elongated middle finger that it uses to extract grubs from tree bark. It is among the most endangered animals in the world due to a combination of habitat loss and persecution (many negative superstitions exist about the aye-aye), but captive breeding programs may help keep this animal from going extinct.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Habitat loss and persecution
Habitat: Rain forest and deciduous forest, usually in the canopy
Location: Madagascar
Diet: Grubs

The Bactrian camel is a two-hump camel with a shaggy coat and an almost U-shaped neck. It is the only remaining Old World camel in the wild. It lives in the harsh arid plains along the border between China and Mongolia, and can withstand temperatures from minus 20°F to 100°F. Hunting and competition with grazing domestic species have led to a drastic decline in Bactrian camel populations. There are currently fewer than 2,000 animals in the wild.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Hunting and competition with livestock
Habitat: Harsh arid plains
Location: China and Mongolia
Diet: Grasses, leaves and grain

The Baiji is a toothed whale with an elongated beak, a sleek body and an average weight of about 300 pounds. Their eyes are not well formed so they rely on echolocation to navigate and search for food in the muddy river bottom. There are many threats to this species, including collisions with boats and loss of prey species by overfishing, pollution and dams. Engine noise also interferes with echolocation.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
Major Threats: Boat collisions, loss of prey species, pollution and dams
Habitat: Lakes and rivers
Location: China's Yangtze River and nearby water systems
Diet: Fish

Tapirs are piglike animals with long legs, an extended trunk and relatively streamlined bodies. Baird's tapir — the largest of the tapirs — has short, dark bristly hair with a light-colored chin and throat. It can be found in the forests of Central and South America, feeding on plant parts near freshwater sources. Baird's tapir are endangered throughout their range due to hunting and habitat destruction.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Hunting and habitat destruction
Habitat: Dense tropical rain forest
Location: Central and South America
Diet: Leaves and fallen fruit


The bearded saki is a monkey found in the dense tropical forests of the Amazon in South America. It is an unusual-looking animal. Thick chin hair gives it a bushy beard and a mop of fur on the head creates thick bangs. When threatened or excited, it switches its tail and emits a high-pitched whistling call. Threats to the bearded saki include hunting and habitat destruction and fragmentation.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Hunting, habitat destruction and fragmentation
Habitat: Dense tropical rain forest
Location: Amazon
Diet: Mainly fruits; also nuts, buds, leaves and insects


The black-footed ferret is a carnivorous mammal with short ears, a short snout and five toes on each foot. Once common on the plains of the Central United States, populations declined rapidly with the extirpation of prairie dogs, their main prey species. The black-footed ferret is currently listed as extinct in the wild, but captive breeding programs may allow for successful reintroduction of wild populations.

IUCN Status: Extinct in the Wild
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Loss of prey species, habitat loss and disease
Habitat: Short or middle grass prairies and rolling hills
Location: Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming
Diet: Mainly prairie dogs

The largest animal on the planet, the blue whale can reach a length of more than 100 feet. Despite their size, they are remarkably skilled divers, rapidly plunging several hundred feet below the surface using their back muscles to propel them. When they emerge from the dive, they let out a torrent of water, air and mucus from their blowhole. They are found in most of the world's oceans, and are threatened by noise and other environmental pollution throughout much of their range.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Noise and other environmental pollution
Habitat: Open ocean
Location: World's oceans
Diet: Mainly krill

The bonobo is slightly smaller than the chimpanzee, and has a slimmer body and longer limbs. It lives in large social groups in which the female is dominant, and young pygmy chimpanzees spend up to three years being nursed, groomed and cared for by their mothers. The bonobo is found in the tropical and subtropical forests of Central Africa and is threatened by habitat loss and hunting.

IUCN Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Habitat loss and hunting
Habitat: Tropical and subtropical forests
Location: Central Africa
Diet: Mainly fruit; also other plant parts and invertebrates

The cheetah is a golden-yellow cat with black spots and a ringed tail. The world's fastest land animal, the cheetah can reach speeds of more than 60 miles per hour. It cannot, however, maintain that speed for more than a few seconds. If prey can last longer than 10-20 seconds, it usually escapes. Cheetahs are among the world's most loved animals. There are major international efforts to save them from extinction. It is endangered due to habitat loss, reduction of prey species, inbreeding and high infant mortality.

IUCN Status: Vulnerable
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Habitat loss, loss of prey species, inbreeding and infant mortality
Habitat: Areas with tall grass and shrubs
Location: Sub-Saharan African and Northern Iran
Diet: Mainly gazelles; also impalas, antelope young and small mammals

The chimpanzee has a bare face, longer arms than legs and dark hair thinly covering its body. It is one of the few primate species capable of walking upright. They live in large social groups in which the young are cared for by their mothers for about three years. During that time, young chimpanzees learn feeding techniques, including the use of tools. Chimpanzees are threatened by hunting and loss of habitat.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Hunting and habitat loss
Habitat: Tropical rain forest, montain forest,and forest-savanna environments
Location: Central Africa
Diet: Mainly fruits and young leaves; also other plant parts, insects, small vertebrates, eggs, etc.


Armadillos are insectivorous mammals that are covered in armored plates of hardened skin on their back, sides, limbs and tail. They have a huge claw on their front feet, which is used to dig up soil in search of food items such as insects and other small animals. The giant armadillo, by far the largest of the armadillos, can weigh more than 60 pounds. They are found in the Amazon Basin of South America but are endangered throughout their range due to hunting and habitat loss.

IUCN Status: Vulnerable
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Hunting and habitat loss
Habitat: Prefers tropical rain forest
Location: Amazon Basin of South America
Diet: Ants and termites

The giant otter is a large aquatic mammal with a dark brown shiny coat and cream-colored streaks and patches on the chin and throat. Its short legs and webbed toes make it a great swimmer, and its whiskers allow it to find prey in the water. They live in communal groups in northern and central South America and are threatened by habitat destruction throughout their range.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Habitat destruction
Habitat: Tropical rivers, lakes and creeks
Location: Northern and central South America
Diet: Mainly fish; also crabs, snakes and small caimans

The giant panda has a distinctive white head with black eye patches, ears and shoulders. Unlike other bear species, giant pandas are entirely herbivorous, spending up to 12 hours a day chewing bamboo shoots and roots. Because of poaching and habitat loss, they are extremely rare, occurring in small populations in the bamboo forests of China. Despite being the subject of major international conservation efforts, wild populations of giant pandas may not be enough to save this species.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Habitat loss, poaching and human encroachment
Habitat: Mountainous regions where bamboo is present
Location: Central China
Diet: Bamboo shoots and roots

Like all tree kangaroos, Goodfellow's tree kangaroo is adapted for life in the trees. It has short legs, narrow feet and a long tail for balance. It is a large animal, with adults weighing up to 15 pounds. Its range lies entirely within Papua New Guinea, and it is threatened throughout its range by hunting and habitat loss.

IUCN Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Hunting and habitat loss
Habitat: Dense tropical rain forests
Location: Papua New Guinea
Diet: Silkwood leaves and various fruits

The gorilla is the largest of the primates. Adult males are often twice the size of females and have a silvery back when fully mature. They live in highly complex social groups led by a dominant male in the lowland and swamp forests of Central and Equatorial Africa. The gorilla faces many threats in the wild, including slash-and-burn forest clearing, illegal hunting for the bushmeat trade and trophy poaching.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Habitat loss and hunting
Habitat: Tropical secondary and montane forests
Location: Central and Equatorial Africa
Diet: Fruits, leaves shoots and some insects

The gray wolf is the largest wild member of the dog family and was once the world's most widely distributed land mammal. It lives in packs that cooperate to hunt and patrol territories covering very wide areas. The range of the gray wolf includes the upper latitudes of North America, Greenland, Europe and Asia, though its distribution within that range has been dramatically reduced due to human persecution and habitat loss.

USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Human persecution and habitat loss
Habitat: A wide range including forests, tundra and grasslands
Location: North America, Greenland, Europe and Asia
Diet: Mainly large prey such as moose, elk and bison

Seals are pinnipeds, all of which are specially adapted to an aquatic lifestyle. They are found worldwide in the temperate and polar seas, and most species breed on land in large colonies. The Hawaiian monk seal gets its name from its loose neck skin that resembles a monk's robe. It is currently threatened by hunting, habitat loss and disturbances to its breeding grounds by humans.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Habitat loss and disturbance to breeding grounds
Habitat: Temperate and polar seas
Location: Northwestern Hawaiian islands
Diet: Fish and various marine invertebrates

Hirola are a type of antelope. They have golden-brown hair, long legs and an elongated face. The horns of both the male and female are curved and flair at the tips. They live in the desert scrub and grasslands where they form harems led by a dominant territorial male. They have a very small range that includes parts of Kenya and Somalia, and their numbers are in sharp decline due to poaching and habitat loss.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
Major Threats: Poaching and habitat loss
Habitat: Deser scub and grasslands
Location: Kenya and Somalia
Diet: Mainly grasses

The humpback whale is a giant yet graceful marine mammal that can reach a length of more than 40 feet. It occurs throughout the world's oceans, spending its summers at the poles and winters at lower latitudes. Both males and females sing, but the song of the male is long and complex, containing variations in rhythm and melody and sometimes lasting 30 minutes or more. It is used to attract females, to warn other males, and possibly to locate individual whales. The primary threat to the humpback whale comes from commercial whaling.

IUCN Status: Vulnerable
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Commercial whaling
Habitat: Polar to tropical waters
Location: World's oceans
Diet: Krill and small schooling fish

The Iberian lynx is a solitary cat with a spotted coat and tufted ears found in southwestern Europe. It is an expert hunter, feeding on rabbits, deer fawns, ducks and other animals. It is threatened by loss of habitat and prey species and currently has a very restricted range. This may be the first cat species to go extinct for at least 2,000 years.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Loss of habitat and prey species
Habitat: Openg grassland mixed with dense shrubs and trees
Location: Southwestern Europe
Diet: Rabbits, deer fawns, ducks and other animals

The Indiana bat is a medium-sized gray-brown bat that lives in limestone caves in many states of the Midwestern United States. It is an important species in that it eats many insects that are considered to be agricultural pests. They spend winters in caves and migrate north in spring to roost in trees with their young. Habitat disturbance and environmental pollution threaten this species throughout the Midwest.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Habitat disturbance and environmental pollution
Habitat: Caves and forests
Location: Midwestern United States
Diet: Insects

The Indus River dolphin is a small freshwater dolphin found in the rivers of southern Asia. It has broad flippers, a flattened neck and an elongated beak with rows of sharp teeth. The front teeth protrude to form a cage for fish and other prey. The Indus River dolphin is extremely rare and faces numerous threats throughout its range, including pollution, poaching, collisions with boats, being caught in fishing nets and habitat loss.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Pollution, poaching, collision with boats, fishing nets and habitat loss
Habitat: Rivers
Location: Southern Asia
Diet: Shrimp and small fish

The Iranian jerboa is a mouselike rodent that is endemic to Iran. It is light brown with short legs and a tufted tail. It is a vegetarian and nocturnal, spending much of its day in underground burrows and emerging at night to forage. The Iranian jerboa is only known to occur in a small grassland region of southern Iran. It is threatened because of a restricted range and by habitat loss.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
Major Threats: Restricted range and habitat loss
Habitat: Grassland regions
Location: Southern Iran
Diet: Vegetation

The jaguar is the New World's only large cat species. It looks like a leopard, but it has whorled spots with dark centers. It is a stout, powerful, big-headed animal that occurs in watery habitats such as swampland and frequently flooded forests throughout central and northern South America. The jaguar is threatened by competition with domestic species, hunting and habitat loss.

USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Competition with domestic species, hunting and habitat loss
Habitat: Watery habitats like swampland and flooded forest
Location: Central and northern South America
Diet: Mainly medium- and large-sized mammals

The Javan rhinoceros is an extremely rare mammal with thick gray skin that folds into a saddle around the neck. With many adults weighing more than 4,000 pounds, it is a very large animal. It has a single horn on the tip of its snout that grows to about 10 inches. It is a solitary nocturnal animal found only in the forests of Southeast Asia. It is threatened throughout its range by hunting and habitat loss.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Hunting and habitat loss
Habitat: Dense lowland rain forest
Location: Indonesia and Vietnam
Diet: Leaves, shoots, fruit and other vegetation

Sloths are slow-moving mammals with small heads, eyes and ears. They spend their time suspended from trees branches in the forest canopy, eating the leaves, buds and twigs. The maned three-toed sloth lives in the forests of Brazil, where it is threatened by logging. They are entirely dependent on trees and cannot race away when their trees are cut down. On the ground, they drag themselves along using their strong front limbs.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Continuing deforestation
Habitat: Coastal rain forest
Location: Brazil
Diet: Leaves, buds and soft twigs

The maned wolf is a carnivore similar in appearance to the red fox but with very long legs. The maned wolf also has a black neck crest that resembles a mane. It is found in the scrub and grasslands of the central parts of South America where it lives in male-female pairs. It is active at night, hunting rabbits, birds, mice and other creatures. Threats to the maned wolf include hunting, habitat loss and disease.

USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Hunting, habitat loss and disease
Habitat: Scrub and grasslands
Location: Central South America
Diet: Rabbits, birds, mice and other animals

With their distinctive black and white stripes, long legs and ability to run at high speeds, zebras are a symbol of wilderness and conservation throughout the world. Unlike other hoofed mammals, zebras and their horse relatives have only one toe on each foot. The mountain zebra is distinguished from other zebras by having a fold of skin, called a dewlap, on their throat. They occur in South Africa and are threatened by hunting and habitat loss.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Hunting and habitat loss
Habitat: Mountainous slopes and plateaus
Location: South Africa
Diet: Tufted grass, bark, leaves, fruit and roots

The northern hairy-nosed wombat is a rare, stocky, short-legged marsupial that only occurs in a forest preserve in Queensland, Australia. They are large animals, sometimes growing to a meter or more in length. They are solitary and are known for digging elaborate underground tunnels, which explains their powerful forearms. Once abundant, there are currently fewer than 100 individuals left in the wild because of degraded and lost habitat.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Habitat loss and degradation
Habitat: Semi-arid, open woodlands or grasslands
Location: Epping Forest National Park in Queensland, Australia
Diet: Native grasses

The ocelot is a reddish-brown cat with a light-colored belly and spots in a distinctive chain-link rosette pattern. It lives in a variety of habitats, including grasslands, swamps and forests, from the southern United States, Mexico, and Central and South America. Ocelots were once hunted to near extinction, but numbers have recently increased in some populations. Today, the primary threat is loss of habitat.

USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Loss of habitat
Habitat: A variety including grasslands, swamps, and forests
Location: Southern United States to South America
Diet: Small- to medium-sized mammals and birds

The orangutan is a tree-dwelling primate that rarely ventures down to the ground. It has orange-red fur, long arms and handlike feet. Young orangutans cling to their mother as she navigates the forest canopy, feeding on fruit and other plant parts as well as honey, lizards, birds and eggs. Threats to the orangutan include hunting, loss of habitat and being captured for the illegal pet trade.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Hunting, habitat loss and the illegal pet trade
Habitat: Various tropical forest habitats
Location: Island of Borneo
Diet: Fruits and other plant parts; also honey, lizards, birds and eggs


The panther is a large, long-tailed predatory cat with big paws for its size. It is usually tan, golden or chestnut above, with a light belly and very dark brown tail tip and ears. It is remarkably adaptable, occurring in habitats ranging from tropical to mountain to desert. By the mid-20th century, panther populations were greatly reduced by hunting, but the primary threat to the panther today is habitat loss.

USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Hunting and habitat loss
Habitat: A wide variety including tropical, mountain and desert
Location: South America and western North America
Diet: Mainly deer; also other small- to medium-sized animals

Przewalski's horse is a short, stocky horse with a long neck and very large head. Its mane is dark and stiff, and its coat ranges from golden brown to reddish. Przewalski's horse is the only true wild horse. Unfortunately, they went extinct in the wild during the 20th century due to hunting and crossbreeding. Today, they are being reintroduced to their natural habitat on the Mongolian steppe with zoo-bred individuals. Today, threats to Przewalski's horse come from loss of grazing habitat.

USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Loss of grazing habitat
Habitat: Grassy deserts and plains
Location: Altai Mountains of Mongolia
Diet: Mainly grasses, plants and fruit

Weighing between 400 and 500 pounds on average, the pygmy hippopotamus is only a small fraction of the weight of other hippopotamuses. Because they spend more time on land than their larger cousins, they have narrower feet and fewer webbed toes. They live in the marshlands and dense forests of Liberia and West Africa, foraging at night, and are usually solitary. They are threatened by illegal hunting and habitat loss.

IUCN Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Illegal hunting and habitat loss
Habitat: Marshlands and dense forests
Location: Liberia and West Africa
Diet: Fallen fruits, aquatic plants, grasses and leaves


The red panda is a chestnut-colored panda with alternating light and dark rings on the tail. It is mainly nocturnal and solitary, and spends most of its time in trees, where it uses its long bushy tail for balance. The red panda lives in the dense, cool temperate forests of Myanmar and the Himalayan Mountains in South Asia. It is threatened throughout its range by poaching and habitat loss.

IUCN Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Poaching and habitat loss
Habitat: Dense, cool temperate forests
Location: Myanmar and Himalayan Mountains
Diet: Blossoms, berries, eggs, leaves and bamboo

The red wolf is a small carnivore with a coat of mixed cinnamon, black and white fur. Similar to the gray wolf, it lives in highly organized social packs that cooperatively hunt small mammals. By the 1970s, the red wolf was believed to be extinct in the wild, primarily because of human persecution and interbreeding with coyotes. They currently exist in a reintroduced population in North Carolina.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Human persecution and habitat loss
Habitat: Mountains, lowland forests and wetlands
Location: Southeastern United States
Diet: Deer, rabbits, mice, raccoons and other mammals

The ring-tailed lemur is a small primate found only in southern and southwestern Madagascar. It has a white face, dark nose and eye patches; brown-gray fur on its body; and a distinctive black and white ringed tail. It is a very social lemur, living in female-dominated groups of five to 25 and spends more time on the ground than other lemurs. Like many lemurs, this species is threatened by widespread habitat loss.

IUCN Status: Vulnerable
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Habitat loss
Habitat: Mainly deciduous and gallery forest
Location: Southern and southwestern Madagascar
Diet: Mainly fruit; also leaves

Lemurs are small primates with a doglike snout, large eyes and a dental comb used for mutual grooming (except for the aye-aye). The ruffed lemur is the largest of the lemurs, weighing between eight and 10 pounds on average. It lives in the rain forests of eastern Madagascar in small social groups. They are threatened by deforestation, hunting and capture for the exotic pet trade.

IUCN Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Deforestation, hunting and exotic pet trade
Habitat: Rain forests
Location: Eastern Madagascar
Diet: Mainly fruit; also leaves, seeds and nectar

The scimitar-horned oryx is an antelope with curved, swordlike horns that grow to be several feet long. This graceful herbivore was once found throughout much of the desert plains and arid regions of Africa, but they are now extinct in the wild due to hunting and habitat loss. They are very social animals, and historically traveled together in large herds. There is currently an international effort to restore wild populations through captive breeding and reintroduction.

IUCN Status: Extinct in the Wild
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Hunting and habitat loss
Habitat: Arid steppe and desert
Location: North Africa
Diet: Leaves, grasses and fruit

Compared to other otters, the sea otter is smaller and stouter. It has several anatomical adaptations to an aquatic existence, including large lungs, very thick fur, a powerful tail and flipper-like hind feet. It is the world's smallest marine mammal. Once widespread in coastal waters throughout the eastern Pacific Ocean, sea otter populations have declined dramatically in recent years, possibly because of predation or poaching.

IUCN Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Oil spills
Habitat: Coastal waters
Location: Eastern Pacific Ocean
Diet: Marine invertebrates, such as crabs, octopus and sea urchins

Lorises are small primates related to the lemurs of Madagascar. The slender loris is a grayish-brown animal with a dark face and large eyes separated by a white stripe. They move through the forest with grace and deliberation, holding onto tree branches with their unusual toes. On each foot, the big toe opposes the other toes and creates a four-way grip of the branch. Slender lorises are found in forests of South Asia and Sri Lanka. They are threatened by deforestation.

IUCN Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Deforestation
Habitat: Various forest habitats
Location: South Asia and Sri Lanka
Diet: Mainly insects; also plant matter, eggs and small vertebrates

The snow leopard is a large carnivorous cat that lives in the steppe, shrub, mountains and open forests of Central and South Asia. It has short, stocky limbs for climbing craggy terrain and a long, thickly furred tail for warmth and balance. The snow leopard is threatened by loss of prey species, declining habitat, poaching and persecution. There may be as few as 2,500 adults remaining in the wild.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Loss of prey species, declining habitat, poaching and persecution
Habitat: Steppe, shrub, mountains and open forests
Location: Central and South Asia
Diet: Small- and medium-sized mammals

The sperm whale is the world's largest carnivore. It can grow to a length of more than 60 feet, and has a huge boxlike head that makes up more than one-third of its total length. It is an impressive diver, plunging to depths of nearly 4,000 feet and staying submerged for almost two hours at a time. The sperm whale is found in deep waters worldwide and is threatened by hunting, being caught in fishing gear and colliding with ships.

IUCN Status: Vulnerable
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Hunting, being caugh in fishing gear and colliding with ships
Habitat: Open ocean
Location: Worldwide oceans
Diet: Giant squid, octopus, fish and other marine animals

The Sumatran rhinoceros is the smallest and hairiest of the world's living rhinoceroses. It is also one of the most critically endangered. As the name suggests, these animals occur in Sumatra and also Borneo, although they once roamed throughout Southeast Asia. Because of poaching and destruction of its rainforest habitat, Sumatran rhinoceros numbers have been in steady decline in recent decades and there may be fewer than 300 hundred individuals left in the wild.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Poaching and habitat destruction
Habitat: Lowland secondary rainforest, swamps and moss forests
Location: Sumatra and Borneo
Diet: Young saplings, leaves and other vegetation

The tiger is the largest member of the cat family. A symbol of wildlife conservation, it is a majestic animal with an orange coat, black stripes and white markings. It lives in tropical forests, where it is usually solitary and nocturnal. Its range once extended to Eastern Europe, but it now lives in scattered populations in southern and eastern Asia. It is threatened by poaching, habitat loss and loss of prey species.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Poaching, habitat loss and loss of prey species
Habitat: Various habitats including rain forest, deciduous forest and coniferous forest
Location: Southern and eastern Asia
Diet: Mainly large, hooved animals

The vicuna is the smallest member of the camel family. On average, adult vicunas are about 5 feet tall with a long neck and cleft upper lip designed for grasping at grasses. It has a thick, insulating cinnamon-colored coat with a white chest bib. They live in the grasslands of the Andes Mountains in the South American countries of Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. The primary threat to the vicuna is illegal hunting.

USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Illegal hunting
Habitat: Mountainous grasslands
Location: Andes Mountains in the South America

Elands are the largest of all antelopes. They are commonly used for milk or hunted for their meat and hides. The western giant eland has large ears, spiral pointed horns and vertical white stripes on its cinnamon-brown body. It lives in Central and West Africa, and is rapidly disappearing throughout its range because of habitat loss, primarily due to agricultural expansion.

USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Habitat loss due to agricultural expansion
Habitat: Tropical savanna
Location: Central and West Africa
Diet: Fruits, leaves, flowers, bark and other plant parts

Capuchins are New World primates with a small face, short limbs and a prehensile tail. Many species of capuchin — such as Brazil's yellow-breasted capuchin — are known for being adept at using tools, primarily to crack open hard-shelled nuts. Yellow-breasted capuchins are also one of the most endangered primates. Threats to this species include hunting, habitat loss and capture for the illegal pet trade.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
Major Threat: Hunting, habitat loss and the illegal pet trade
Habitat: Evergreen rain forest, mangroves and deciduous dry forest
Location: Brazil
Diet: Fruits, seeds, nectar and small animals
Diet: Mainly grasses

Endangered Species - Birds

Endangered Birds
Birds of every shape, size and color are under threat. From the mighty California condor to the tiny purple-backed sunbeam, birds around the world are running out of time. And space — habitat loss is the single largest threat facing birds today. Ironically, bird enthusiasts themselves are also helping to contribute to the decline of many species, which are captured for the caged bird trade.

Of the nearly 10,000 described bird species, over 1,200 are listed as threatened or endangered by the IUCN. Some are facing seemingly hopeless battles, while others are recovering from decades of decline. The future hangs in the balance for many of our feathered friends.

The akepa is a small honeycreeper that once occurred on all of the Hawaiian Islands but is now confined to the Big Island, Kauai and Maui. Males are either bright orange (Big Island) or yellow-bronze (Maui). They nest in the cavities of large, old-growth rainforest trees, but are currently threatened by logging and predation by feral animals (e.g., pigs and rats).

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Logging and predation by feral animals
Habitat: Tropical, close-canopied forest
Location: Hawaiian Islands (Big Island, Kauai and Maui)
Diet: Mainly caterpillars, spiders and other insects

With its white body, jet-black wing and tail feathers, and a red stripe down the back of its head and neck, the Araripe manakin is a strikingly beautiful bird. It was only described in 1998, and is still only known from one location in Brazil. Despite being critically endangered, development of a recreational park threatens the remainder of the Araripe's forest home.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
Major Threat: Development of recreational facilities
Habitat: ddd
Location: Foothills of Brazil's Araripe uplands
Diet: Mainly fruit

The black-billed gull is a white bird with black wing tips and, as the name suggests, a black bill. It lives in pairs along the shores of New Zealand's lake margins and riverbeds. This species is often preyed upon by the non-native animals of New Zealand such as dogs, cats and ferrets. Their numbers have declined rapidly in the past three decades and they are now the world's most endangered gull.

IUCN Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Predation by non-native species
Habitat: Lake margins, riverbeds and inland pastures
Location: Shores of New Zealand
Diet: Mainly fish and crustaceans

The black shama is a shy, elusive songbird that occurs only in the Philippines. Males are blue-black, females are brownish, and both have black bills, eyes, and legs. They are gifted singers, producing complicated yet melodious calls lasting 20 seconds or more. The habitat of the black shama is the lowlands and forest foothills of the island of Cebu, but deforestation has reduced its numbers and they are now quite rare.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Habitat loss and degradation
Habitat: Lowland forest and foothills, often in deep ravines and bamboo thickets
Location: Cebu Island in the Philippines
Diet: Insects, especially beetles and crickets; also fruit sap

The blue-throated macaw is a large blue parrot with a yellow underbelly and powerful hooked beak. It is only known from the swampy regions of the central forests of Bolivia where it typically occurs in bonded pairs. With population estimates at fewer than 100 individuals, this bird is extremely rare. The primary threat to the blue-throated macaw comes from their collection for the exotic pets trade.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
Major Threat: Capture for the exotic pet trade
Habitat: Tropical savannas and woodlands
Location: Central Bolivia
Diet: Seeds, fruits, nuts and berries

The brown kiwi is a stocky nocturnal bird that is native to New Zealand. A flightless bird, the brown kiwi feeds by walking slowly through the forest poking its long, slender bill — which is highly sensitive to touch — into the ground in search of worms, insects and larvae. It was once found throughout New Zealand, but is now restricted to fragmented forests and seriously threatened by non-native predators such as pigs, cats and dogs.

IUCN Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Non-native predators such as pigs, cats and dogs
Habitat: Temperate, tropical and subtropical forest and scrubland
Location: New Zealand
Diet: Worms, insects and larvae

California condors are large vultures with bald pink heads and a 10-foot wingspan. They are among the world's largest flying birds, and they are also one of the most critically endangered. After going extinct in the wild due to hunting, habitat loss and environmental poisons, captive breeding programs have allowed for the reintroduction of a small population of California condors into the wild. There are currently populations in California, Arizona, and Baja California, Mexico.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Hunting, habitat loss and environmental poisons
Habitat: Wooded mountains and scrublands
Location: California, Arizona, and Baja California, Mexico
Diet: Carrion, especially larger animals like deer, cattle and sheep

The crowned eagle is a mighty bird of prey with broad wings, pale gray plumage and a distinct crest on its head. It occurs throughout central South America in both forest and semi-open areas. Like many birds of prey, the crowned eagle is endangered because of habitat loss. As top predators, they are also vulnerable to toxins present in their prey animals, and are subject to harassment by humans who perceive them as a threat to farm animals.

IUCN Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Habitat loss, persecution and toxins present in prey animals
Habitat: Open woodland, marshland, savanna and scrub
Location: Central South America
Diet: Birds, medium-sized mammals and reptiles

The ivory-billed woodpecker is a magnificent bird with red, black, and white feathers, a tall crest on the head (the crest is red on the male), and a long pointed bill. This bird was thought to be long extinct due to logging pressures until it was spotted along a stream in eastern Arkansas in 2004. Today, populations of the ivory-billed woodpecker are tiny but thought to be stable.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Logging pressures
Habitat: Thick hardwood swamp and pine forest
Location: Eastern Arkansas and northern Florida
Diet: Larvae of wood-boring beetles; also seeds, fruits and insects

Kirtland's warbler is a small songbird that spends the summer in Michigan and then flies south to the Bahamas for the winter. Individuals range from 4 to 6 inches, and both sexes have blue-gray bodies with white eye rings. Kirtland's warbler breeds only in jack pine woodland, so habitat loss has been particularly devastating for this species. Recent woodland management plans have improved conditions.

IUCN Status: Near Threatened
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Loss of suitable breeding habitat
Habitat: Jack pine woodland and pine forests
Location: Lower Michigan in summer; Bahamas in winter
Diet: Insects, berries and fruit

The light-footed clapper rail is a large marsh bird with long legs and large feet for wading through water. It has a long downturned bill, an upturned tail and a 20-inch wingspan. The light-footed clapper rail is easily identified in the wild by its gray-brown head and body and a cinnamon breast. It is quite rare and populations continue to decline due to habitat loss and predation by non-native species.

USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Habitat loss and predation by non-native species
Habitat: Coastal salt and freshwater marshes
Location: Southern California to Northern Mexico
Diet: Mainly invertebrates such as crabs, snails, insects, worms and mussels

The Madagascar teal is a rare small duck that lives in the wetlands and coastal forests of western Madagascar. Both sexes are brownish with a mottled head and chest and a purple-hued bill. Because of its rarity, not much is known about the ecology of the Madagascar teal, except that its numbers are in rapid decline due to hunting and habitat loss.

IUCN Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Hunting and habitat loss
Habitat: Wetlands, coastal forests and mangrove swamps
Location: Western Madagascar
Diet: Invertebrates and aquatic vegetation


The marbled murrelet is a chubby seabird that appears to have no neck. It has a white mottled neck and belly with dark brown-black upperparts during the breeding season that turn grayish in winter. This species is still abundant but populations have declined by as much as 50 percent in the past few decades. Threats to the marbled murrelet include habitat loss and being taken as bycatch in fishing nets.

IUCN Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Habitat loss and being taken as bycatch
Habitat: Open ocean, pelagic offshore areas and protected bays; nests in old growth forests
Location: North Pacific
Diet: Mainly sandeels; also herring, capelin and shiner perch

Storks are large long-legged birds with long necks, broad wings and powerful bills. They have several adaptations to habitats with shallow water, including widely spaced toes and webbing between the front three. The oriental stork is found in the lowland forests and wetlands of a number of Asian countries, but their populations are in sharp decline due to deforestation and the draining of wetlands.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Deforestation and draining of wetlands
Habitat: Lowland forests and wetlands
Location: China, North Korea and Russia
Diet: Fish, frogs and other small animals

The red-cockaded woodpecker is a small yet striking bird. It has white underparts, a black cap and nape, black mustache stripe down the side of each cheek, and black back with white bars. The male has a faint red spot on the side of the nape. It lives in the pine forests of the southwestern United States and at one time was very common. Logging operations and habitat degradation have led to a sharp and continuous decline in the numbers of red-cockaded woodpeckers.

IUCN Status: Vulnerable
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Logging operations and habitat degradation
Habitat: Mature pine forests
Location: Southeastern United States
Diet: Tree-dwelling insects, their larvae and their eggs

Cranes are large long-legged birds with a slender bill and rounded wings. They are found throughout the world, though many are endangered. In fact, cranes have a higher proportion of endangered species than any other bird group. The red-crowned crane — the heaviest member of the crane family — breeds on the island of Hokkaido in Japan. It may have occurred on other Japanese islands in the past, but hunting and habitat loss have restricted its numbers.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Hunting and habitat loss
Habitat: Marshes, river banks and similar habitats
Location: Island of Hokkaido in Japan
Diet: Small amphibians, aquatic invertebrates, insects and plants

The red siskin is a small finch with a black head and mostly red body. The females have a grayish head with a less brilliant red body. They live in northern Venezuela and Colombia in a variety of habitats, including mountain forests and shrubby grasslands. This species is threatened by capture for the caged bird trade and populations may include fewer than 1,000 individuals.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Capture for the caged bird trade
Habitat: Open country, mountain forests and grassland
Location: Northern Venezuela and Colombia
Diet: Mainly seeds

The southwestern willow flycatcher is a small songbird with a green-gray body, white throat and yellow belly. It is found in the forests along rivers, streams and other wetlands in the southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. Most birders rely on sound rather than sight to identify this bird. It has a distinct "fitz-bew" call that is unmistakable. This species is threatened by habitat loss and there may be fewer than 1,000 individuals left in the wild.

USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Habitat loss
Habitat: Forests along rivers, streams and other wetlands
Location: Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico
Diet: Insects

Blackbirds are found exclusively in the Americas and are well-adapted for life in and around human settlements. The tricolored blackbird is found throughout the marsh, scrub and wetlands of the Central Valley of California, and breeding colonies may occur in Nevada, Oregon and Washington. The male is shiny black with red or white wing epaulets, and the females are dusky gray. This species is currently undergoing rapid population decline due to loss of habitat.

IUCN Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Habitat loss
Habitat: Marsh, scrub and wetlands
Location: Central Valley of California
Diet: Insects, seeds and other plant matter

Whooping cranes are large white birds with a red crown; long, slender legs; and broad, rounded black-tipped wings. They once occurred throughout western North America but were driven to near extinction by hunting and habitat loss. Protection of cranes is made difficult by their long migrations, which may span thousands of miles. Many cranes breed in Arctic wetlands and spend winters in the southern latitudes. Though still small, its numbers are steadily increasing.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Habiat loss due to drainage of wetlands
Habitat: Grassy plains interspersed with marshes, lakes and ponds
Location: Northern Canada and the Texas coast
Diet: Snails, clams, fish, blue crabs and wolf berries

The yellow-eared parrot is critically endangered because of its extremely small range and shrinking habitat due to deforestation. It is bright green with yellow ear patches and a dark, heavy bill. This breathtakingly beautiful bird is also a popular species in the exotic pet trade. It is currently only thought to occur among the wax palms in the cloud forests of the Colombian Andes.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
Major Threat: Habitat loss due to deforestation
Habitat: Cloud forests, occurring exclusively in wax palms
Location: Colombian Andes
Diet: Fruits of the wax palm

Endangered Species - Invertebrates

Endangered Invertebrates

Invertebrates account for 97 percent of all animal species. Insects, spiders, crustaceans, squid, snails, octopi, jellyfish, sponges, flatworms, roundworms, segmented worms, starfish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and sea mats are all major invertebrate phylums or classes.

Invertebrate species, especially in locations like the Amazon Basin, are going extinct at an alarming rate. Over half of those evaluated are now listed as threatened or endangered by the IUCN, with crustaceans accounting for the highest percentage. Habitat loss seems to be the major reason invertebrate species continue to vanish.

The American burying beetle is so named because of its habit of burying its food, which consists of just about any dead animal. As a scavenger, it spends much of its time clearing carcasses off the forest floor. For this reason, it is a critical part of the North American ecosystem. Historically, this species could be found in woodland areas from New England to the Rocky Mountains. Today, it is found in only a handful of states due to declining prey species and loss of habitat.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Habitat loss and declining prey species
Habitat: Maritime shrub thickets, coastal moraine grasslands and open pasture
Location: Eastern Oklahoma and Block Island, Rhode Island
Diet: Carrion

Like their dragonfly relatives, damselflies are highly effective predators and expert aerial acrobats. They have large eyes and wings that fold back when the insect is at rest. A native of the Eastern Cape of South Africa, the basking malachite damselfly was nearly extinct at the start of the 21st century due to environmental pollution and alterations of its habitat by non-native species. Conservation activities are currently underway to save this species.

IUCN Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Environmental pollution and habitat alteration by non-native species
Habitat: Clear, shallow, rocky streams with overhanging grasses
Location: Eastern Cape of South Africa
Diet: Insects

With a wingspan of about 2.5 inches, the callippe silverspot butterfly is a medium-sized butterfly. Its wings are a dazzling pattern of black spots and lines on a brownish-gold background with the base of the wing being very hairy. The callippe silverspot lives in the grasslands surrounding the San Francisco Bay Area of California. It is threatened by loss of habitat.

USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Habitat loss
Habitat: Grasslands
Location: San Francisco Bay Area of California
Diet: Nectar

About one-third of the insects on earth are beetles. They occur in most terrestrial and freshwater habitats, and make up about 360,000 different species. Ground beetles are elongated and flattened beetles that live beneath stones and plant material on the ground. The delta green ground beetle is a bright green species that once occurred in the temporary pools throughout California's Central Valley but is now confined to a small region in Northern California.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
Major Threat: Agricultural development
Habitat: Vernal pool habitats
Location: Solano County in Northern California
Diet: Mainly springtails (tiny, wingless insects)

The Dlinza Forest pinwheel is a snail that undoubtedly gets its name from the whorl of bristles emanating from its outer shell. It is found only in a small patch of the Dlinza Forest of South Africa, which comprises about 250 hectares. The forest is protected; however, it is a very small location within a major urban area, and there is concern that this species cannot survive.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
Major Threat: Extremely small range
Habitat: Coastal scarp forest and damp swampy areas
Location: Dlinza Forest in South Africa
Diet: Unknown

Moths are closely related to butterflies, but are usually drab whereas butterflies are brightly colored. This is not true of the fabulous green sphinx moth, an animal that is named for its bright green thorax and orange antennae. In the late 1990s, this species was thought to be extinct. However, there have been sightings of the fabulous green sphinx moth in recent years on the island of Kauai in Hawaii, the only place where this species occurs.

IUCN Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Collection and habitat destruction
Habitat: Uknown
Location: Hawaii's Kauai island
Diet: Unknown

The fanshell is a freshwater mollusk found in the rivers and streams of the Midwest and eastern United States. Their larvae attach themselves to the gills of fish, where they remain until they grow into juveniles with shells of their own. Adult fanshells bury themselves in sand or gravel with only their siphons exposed to the current. Dam and reservoir construction as well as sand and gravel mining have contributed to the destruction of much of the fanshell's habitat.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Habitat destruction
Habitat: Streams and rivers
Location: Midwest and eastern United States
Diet: Likely detritus, diatoms, phytoplankton and zooplankton

Freshwater crayfish are lobster-like animals with powerful claws on their front legs. The giant freshwater crayfish is the world's largest known freshwater invertebrate. It lives in the mud and silt on the bottom of streams, rivers, and lakes in Tasmania and mainland Australia. Once abundant, their numbers have been reduced by fishing pressure and environmental pollution.

IUCN Status: Endangered
Major Threats: Fishing pressure and environmental pollution
Habitat: Mud and silt on bottoms of streams, rivers and lakes
Location: Tasmania and mainland Australia
Diet: Mainly decaying wood

The Illinois cave amphipod is a tiny crustacean found in the dark zones of cave streams in Illinois. It is light blue-gray but may appear translucent. This species is considered very important because its health is an indicator of groundwater quality in the area where it occurs. It is currently threatened by groundwater contamination as well as human disturbance within Illinois caves.

IUCN Status: Endangered
USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Groundwater contamination and human disturbance
Habitat: Dark zones of cave streams
Location: Illinois
Diet: Dead animals and plants

The lotus blue butterfly is a beautiful insect species with azure wings fringed in white scales along the outer margin. It is known to occur only in the coastal bogs of Northern California. There have been no sightings of this species for more than 20 years, and they may already be extinct. Threats to the lotus blue butterfly are not well understood but are likely to include loss of bog habitat.

USFWS Status: Endangered
Major Threat: Loss of bog habitat
Habitat: Coastal bogs
Location: Northern California
Diet: Nectar