Children need to be made aware that most animal extinction and endangerment is caused by human activities. There are many animal rights activists who strive valiantly to save the endangered species and stop extinction but it is a long, hard battle. Rainforests are under constant threat and saving the rainforest means saving the animals that inhabit the forest. Tropical rainforests are considered to be nature’s largest pharmacy due to the numerous natural medicines found there.
A few of the better known endangered rainforest animals for your kids to know include:
Gorilla – found in the west central African rainforests of Zaire and Rwanda are in danger of being wiped out through loss of habitat and being hunted as bush meat. The Ebola virus has already done significant damage to the Gorilla population.
Golden Lion Tamarind Monkey – is probably one the most endangered of all the rainforest animals and is nearly extinct. The fur of these monkeys is extremely valuable and can fetch as much as 20,000 dollars on the black market. Their number has diminished drastically and only a few of the species are to be found in the Brazilian rainforests.
Jaguar – one of the sleekest of all beasts of prey, this magnificent animal is on the endangered list. Hunting although prohibited in most countries continues to drive the species nearer to extinction with each passing year.
Bengal Tiger – there are only approximately 4000 of these animals left in the wilds of the Sundarbans in India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, China and Siberia. When you consider that they numbered roughly 50000 in the 1900s, you will realize how much damage man has done by poaching not just these beautiful animals but their land.
Most of us know and love the Orangutan and it is sad to know that these cute creatures with their mops of orange hair are on the endangered list. Destruction and loss of habitat coupled with poaching and being hunted as an exotic species have led to the decline in numbers.
This list is only the beginning of a very long list of endangered rainforest animals for your kids to know. Encourage them to visit as many sites as possible to learn more and teach them to be motivated towards saving the endangered animals.