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  • Everything To Know About Saving Endangered Animals

    February 01, 2022 15 min read

    Everything To Know About Saving Endangered Animals
    The cycle of life is a natural process. From plant to animal species, we are born, live, and pass on. Yet, there is nothing natural about the accelerated extinction rate of our endangered animal friends. If we are honest, this extinction rate is due primarily to human action, or lack of. It’s time we take more significant action to save the animals. 

    Panda bear in a tree We can make a greater difference by taking warning signs more seriously and standing up for these endangered creatures. We've put together this helpful guide to bring more awareness to the issues at hand and how we can all find ways to help save the animals before it’s too late. 

    3 Levels of Concern for Animal Loss

    Who Classifies Endangered Animals and Plants?

    What is a Recovery Plan?

    When is a Species Officially Considered an Endangered Animal?

    10 Most Endangered Animals in 2021

    22 Animals Recognized as Extinct in 2021

    7 Facts Everyone Should Know About Endangered Animals

    Astonishing Endangered Animal Stats From 2021

    Saving Animals Through the Endangered Species Act of 1973

    Addressing Biodiversity, Climate Change, and More

    Significant Impacts on Endangered Animals and Their Extinction

    Additional Tips for Saving Animals

    SpiritHoods and Our Love for All Animals

    SpiritHoods’ Mission to Save Endangered Animals

    Saving Endangered Animals Together


    3 Levels of Concern for Animal Loss

    Here in the United States, the loss of a species is grouped into three distinct levels of concern. These three groups were created from the 1973 Endangered Species Act.   

    Bengal tigers in the zoo

    The 3 levels of concern for animal species loss include: 

    • threatened
    • endangered
    • extinct

    Threatened List

    When an animal species finds itself threatened, it is a warning sign of a problem that is putting its survival rate at risk. Scientists evaluate these warning signs and decide a species’ level of survival risk.

    Scientists evaluate the number of species members in each habitat and compare them over a period. Then, they focus their studies on what the species needs to live and survive.

    Considerations for survival include:

    • what kind of foods do they eat?
    • how much space do they require?
    • what kinds of animals, plants, and landscape features are in their habitat?

    Scientists monitor and compare these factors over time, looking for drastic changes or immediate causes for concern. These factors help determine if a species has trouble thriving or may soon. 

    Factors they monitor closely include: 

    • a decline in the species
    • the food source is becoming scarce
    • water sources are drying up
    • migration paths are compromised

    Endangered List 

    Polar bear standing in melting iceberg in the water

    The endangered animal label is assigned if too many species members die, leaving their numbers significantly low or if their living conditions make it challenging to survive over a projected period. 

    A species may be placed on the endangered animal list in a particular area if its numbers drop within just one region. These animals are considered endangered if there is a possibility of them becoming extinct, requiring immediate intervention and protection.

    When a species is listed, animals and plants are protected by law or groups that require their preservation. While this may sound like a worthy goal, it only represents the status of endangered animals that are already known. Unfortunately, many plants and animal species may be endangered, yet they’re not on the list because they have not been identified yet.

    While it is estimated there may be upwards of 3 million to 100 million endangered animals, and plants, only about 1.7 million species in the world had been identified by 2017.

    Factors contributing to the endangerment of animals include:        

    • competition from other species for food and various resources
    • habitat loss
    • pollution other environmental impacts
    • new builds
    • pets (yep, even our beloved pets can impact them)

    Extinct List

    Dinosaur footprint fossil

    There is no reversal for extinction. Once an endangered animal is extinct, we have lost it forever. It’s a frightening but all too real reality for many. 

    Since the 1600s, over 700 KNOWN species have gone extinct. Let’s break that down and look at some shocking stats. In one month, it’s estimated anywhere from 30 to 1,400 species are lost. So in just one day, at least one plant or animal species is gone.

    Extinction happens for many reasons. For example, an endangered animal may succumb to extinction due to changes in our planet caused by nature or the actions of humans.

    For instance, a natural event, like an erupting volcano, can wipe out an entire species.

    Extinction can also happen gradually, as changes in nature present new challenges for the species. This can be a freeze or an irreversible drought.

    The 5 Great Extinctions

    Our planet has experienced at least five significant extinction periods. These periods have taken out up to 95% of all living species. These five extinctions included massive volcanic eruptions, devastating meteor strikes, and rapid climate changes.

    Many species are endangered or threatened today, not for natural reasons, but because people have changed the habitats upon which these species depend.

    Who Classifies Endangered Animals and Plants?

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service logo

    In the United States, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is responsible for deciding which species are classified as threatened or endangered. A review process is implemented through their listing program when an individual sends in a petition to the FWS. These petitions ask the FWS to investigate if the petitioned species shows reasons for being placed on the threatened or endangered list. They will also evaluate if the species is already on the brink of extinction.

    Around the world, some organizations also work to classify species as threatened, endangered, and extinct. One of the most essential organizations is the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). You can visit their website to learn more and review their Red List of Threatened Species.

    What is a Recovery Plan?

    If a species is identified as threatened or endangered, a plan must be put in place to help restore things to normal or as close to normal as possible. These well-thought-out plans are known as recovery plans. Recovery plans are designed to prevent endangered animals and plants from extinction. The recovery plans attempt to save the animals and plants by making the species more stable, boosting their numbers, and attempting to resolve any and all issues that have put the species on the list, to begin with.

    Several actions can be taken to help save the animals. Some of the most common steps taken include: 

    • limiting the ability to hunt endangered animals
    • passing laws regarding the use of specific pesticides
    • protecting the habitat these endangered creatures live in
    • placing them in zoos to be cared for before being returned to their environment 

    Unfortunately, recovery plans are not 100% successful. However, there are several instances where these recovery plans have been highly effective in the grand scheme of things.

    National Wildlife Federation logo

    Some endangered animals have been successfully removed from the threatened or endangered species lists. This happens when a significant number of members from the species can thrive on their own, and numbers begin to stabilize or even grow.

    The National Wildlife Federation is an extraordinary organization with amazing success stories for saving animals. They have saved animals around the United States, bringing them back from near extinction.

    More than one million species of animals and plants are now at risk of extinction. This astonishing fact means that endangered animals are becoming extinct over 1000 times faster than initially predicted. Scientists think there is a natural rate at which species come and go. So if extinction is a natural process, what's the problem? These days, species are going extinct faster than expected.

    And in many cases, scientists think they are dying off because of human actions. However, before a species becomes extinct, there are usually warning signs. If we watch for the warning signs, there is the possibility of preventing plants and animals from going away forever.

    When is a Species Officially Considered an Endangered Animal?

    A species whose population has declined between 50% and 75% or less than 250 mature individuals are classified as an endangered animal or plant. While there are many facts to be aware of, we thought we'd start with 7 of the most crucial facts on endangered animals and those near extinction.

    10 Most Endangered Animals in 2021

    The Endangered Animals List of 2021 has noted the following as the top 10 most endangered:

    extinct Javan Rhinocerous in the water

    Javan Rhinocerous


    Mountain Gorilla


    Asian Elephant


    Leatherback turtles

    Snow Leopards

    Irrawaddy Dolphins

    Bluefin Tuna 

    22 Animals Recognized as Extinct in 2021 

    There are 22 animals in the U.S. alone that were declared extinct in 2021. But, if you'll recall, they can be unseen for years before an official extinct classification. 

    The 22 animals recognized as extinct in 2021 include:

    taxidermied extinct ivory billed woodpecker

    1.  Kaua’i ‘o‘o

    2.  Maui ‘ākepa

    3.  Kaua’i nukupu’u

    4.  Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

    5.  Little Mariana Fruit Bat

    6.  Bachman’s Warbler 

    7.  Flat Pigtoe Mussel 

    8.  Bridled White-Eye

    9.  Kaua’i akialoa

    10. San Marcos Gambusia

    11. Southern Acornshell Mussel

    12. Po‘ouili

    13. Yellow Blossom Pearly Mussel

    14. Scioto Madtom

    15. Moloka’i Creeper 

    16. Stirrupshell Mussel 

    17. Tubercled-Blossom Pearly Mussel

    18. Large Kaua’i Thrush (Kamao Thrush)

    19. Upland Combshell Mussel

    20. Green-Blossom Pearly Mussel

    21. Turgid-Blossom Pearly Mussel 

    22.  Maui Nukupu’u 

    7 Facts Everyone Should Know About Endangered Animals

    While we encourage you to find everything you can on endangered animals, there are seven specific facts we feel everyone should know.

    golden lion tamarin on a branch

    7 endangered animal facts to be aware of include:

    1. An endangered animal or one threatened by extinction is classified as such when it meets the following criteria:
    • damage to its habitat for entertainment or recreational purposes
    • hazards threaten the continued life of its species
    • disease or predation of its species

      2. Extinction of an endangered animal is declared after years of searching without sightings. Unfortunately, because it takes such a long time to declare an entire species extinct, many species have probably been extinct for quite some time.

      3. Rangers are part of the frontlines of saving animals, protecting many of our most endangered animals worldwide, including elephants, tigers, and rhinos.

      4. Unfortunately, extinction is a natural phenomenon, occurring at a rate of approximately 1 to 5 species every year. Scientists now estimate we are losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate. This equates to dozens of endangered animals possibly going extinct daily.

      5. Without increasing our efforts to save our friends on the endangered animals list, as many as 30% to 50% will be doomed for extinction by mid-century.

      6. 99% of the animals currently on the endangered animals list are at risk from our human activities. These activities are include causing habitat loss, global warming, and introducing exotic species.

      7. The World Wildlife Organization focuses on saving certain endangered animals and plants that help sustain other species. 

      The Organization strives to save animals, including:

      World Wildlife Organization logo
      • pandas
      • whales
      • rhinos
      • marine turtles
      • primates
      • polar bears
      • big cats

      Astonishing Endangered Animal Stats From 2021

      If you're still needing a push to help efforts to save the animals, take a look through some of these heartbreaking stats from 2021 alone:

      • 1 in 5 endangered animals was facing extinction.
      • 30-50% of the endangered animals facing extinction in 2021 will likely be gone by mid-century.
      • In 2021, new stats estimated roughly 23% of the earth's natural habitats will no longer exist by 2100.
      • As of 2021, 41,415 species were included on the IUCN Red List. 16,306 of them are classified as endangered animals and plants facing extinction. This number has jumped from 16,118 in the last year.
      • Trophy hunting kills roughly 200,00 endangered animals each year.
      • The IUCN Red List recently included 30,178 species threatened with extinction.
      • One-quarter of all assessed species of mammals are in danger.
      • There are between 200 and 2,000 extinctions every year.
      • Currently, extinction is 1,000-10,000 times in higher than a natural rate.
      • There have been five big mass extinctions in geologic history.
      • Congress is trying to weaken the Endangered Species Act, facts reveal.
      • In the previous 250 years, 571 species have been confirmed extinct.
      • Hunters kill over 200,000 animals for trophies every year.
      • Out of 19 polar bear subpopulations, only one is increasing.

      Saving Animals Through the Endangered Species Act of 1973

      lion in the wild

      The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) protects registered endangered animals and plants by removing them from the "take" list. This list helps save the endangered animals by making it unlawful for anyone to take actions towards the animals that include: 

      • shooting
      • harming
      • capturing
      • trapping

      Ultimately, the ESA strives to save animals from the endangered list by helping restore their ecological health until they no longer require intervention and protection.

      Addressing Biodiversity, Climate Change, and More

      tropical fish and turtle in the red sea

      So, how can you help save the animals and make a difference? There are a few ways you can start making a conscious effort to save the animals today. You can start by eating less meat, reducing your carbon footprint, advocating for change, and supporting conservation organizations through donations.

      Another way you can help save animals is by educating yourself. Whether you’re new to the cause or not, keeping yourself and others informed is always beneficial in our fight to save animals and prevent further extinction. So let's take a look at some terms you should be familiar with and how staying in the know can help make a significant change in the fight to save animals. 

      What is Biodiversity?

      Biodiversity can be most simply explained as the variety of living beings on our planet. This includes all forms of life and all of their interactions. It is regarded as one of the most vital aspects of our future existence. 

      What Are Biodiversity Hotspots?

      Andes Mountains

      Biodiversity hotspots are regions with vast numbers of species that do not live in any other areas in the world. Unfortunately, these hotspots include areas where the destruction of habitats has occurred at astonishing rates.

      There are many agencies and organizations that focus on saving animals and the hotspots. However, biodiversity hotspots make up less than 2% of Earth. 

      What Are Biodiversity Coldspots?

      Biodiversity coldspots make up just over 98% of the planet. These coldspots are made up of less species diversity yet require attention and help as much as areas with biodiversity hotspots.

      Some biodiversity coldspots are the home of extremely rare plants and animals. It is vital we work to protect coldspot areas before too much destruction prevents us from saving them in time.

      What is The Domino Effect?

      Animals and plants have many interdependent links with one another. Let’s take hippos and birds, for example. Many bird species highly value hippos for their ability to feed off insects that grow on their skin and hairs. Therefore, if hippopotamuses were to become extinct, the birds that would feed on them would become subject to extinction too. This interdependent cause and effect are referred to as a Chain of Extinction, or Domino Effect.

      What is a Keystone Species?

      great white shark in ocean

      A keystone species is an animal or plant that plays a vital role in how its ecosystem functions and its ability to function well. A keystone species is crucial for the proper functioning of an ecosystem.

      Without the keystone species, the ecosystem would be extremely different or perish. Keystone species have a significant influence on their ecosystem. Their extinction would trigger a domino effect, causing other species within their ecosystem to succumb to extinction.

      What is an Indicator Species?

      We rely on indicator species to gather information about ecosystems. An indicator species is a plant or animal species whose presence or absence in a particular environment can indicate whether everything is fine within the ecosystem or if it requires attention.  

      Indicator species can signal health issues within the environment. If an indicator species begin to disappear, we know there are issues at hand that require our immediate attention.  

      What is a Flagship Species?

      Flagship species are those species that the public seems to find most captivating and tend to be more willing to help. Flagship species are endangered animals such as whales, pandas, tigers, and gorillas.

      person holding a one planet, one chance sign

      Organizations may use flagship species to gain the public's attention to help other endangered animals within their ecosystems.

      Significant Impacts on Endangered Animals and Their Extinction

      There are many reasons our beloved friends are at risk for extinction. Climate change and deforestation are causing massive losses of habitats, changing many migration patterns, and affecting their reproduction, to name a few.


      There are five major causes for the rapid decline of our endangered animals. The mnemonic HIPPO easily remembers these causes.

      HIPPO stands for the 5 major causes of declining wildlife biodiversity:

      • H - habitat loss
      • I - invasive species
      • P - pollution and pesticides
      • P - population growth (human) and the pet trade
      • O - over-hunting, and over-collecting


      Human activities and land development can cause habitat loss for our animal friends. As a result, many become endangered animals because their environment no longer can fulfill their basic needs. Animal agriculture is the number one cause of habitat loss and deforestation.


      Invasive species refers to plants and animals that are transported from one region to another and released into the wild. Unfortunately, most of these animals don’t survive, yet some assimilate into their new environment and actually thrive. Often, these magnificent creatures will even out-compete native animals for their niche in the ecosystem. However, this does cause upset in the natural balance of nature.


      Pollution and pesticides refer to forms of trash, air and water pollution, contamination of soil, and noise or light pollution. These factors bring harm to the ecosystems and wildlife. Unfortunately, pesticides do more than just harm intended targets, as they are toxic to animals.


      Population growth the pet trade remain as enormous threats to many animals. In addition, less land remains for wildlife as we continue to claim wilderness areas for housing, agriculture, and industry. Due to our invasion, countless native animals are forced into less than suitable habitats.

      Many of our pet habits are even to blame for the decline of some animal species. This includes pet reptiles, spiders, fish, birds, rodents, and exotic mammals. Keeping these creatures as pets requires them to be harvested from their natural habitats in the wild. 


      Over-hunting and over-collecting have significantly impacted many endagered animals. In addition, our need to hunt wreaks havoc on many ecosystems and causes the elimination of entire species.  

      Understanding  Deforestation

      deforestation on a farm

      Local and indigenous peoples are responsible for protecting 80% of the world’s biodiversity. However, they are often underrepresented or even excluded from having a vital voice at the climate-action, decision-making table. Allowing their participation the help save the animals and center their cause is a vital way to help protect Native rights and biodiversity.

      Deforestation and climate change are causing devastating effects on our endangered animals. In fact, these factors could destroy roughly 25% of all natural habitats worldwide. The rapid loss of these creatures’ habitats would mean the accelerated extinction of our already vulnerable animals. If we do not take action to save the animals now, we will see the predictions of sooner than later extinctions come to reality. 

      Deforestation and loss of their habitat hurt the natural cycle of ecosystems, affecting all stages of animal life. This includes reproduction, mating, and migration.

      Climate change and the global food demand alone could result in an alarming loss of close to 23% of all-natural habitats. According to recent findings in Nature Communications, this prediction is forecasted within the next 80 years. 

      Our current global food demand is fueling agricultural sectors to increase land use significantly. This movement is invading habitats of wildlife that were previously left untouched. The devastating results of deforestation result in leaving more carbon dioxide in the air and increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

      Ag-related emissions measure roughly 11.6% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. alone. This shocking statistic includes carbon methane, dioxide, and nitrous oxide, contributing to and possibly accounting for the main driver of climate change.

      Additional Tips for Saving Animals

      While we know we’ve filled your brain with an extensive list of facts, we’d like to leave you with just a few more ways you can help save the animals. In fact, these may be actionable steps you can implement today in your effort to help our endangered friends survive. 

      Here are a few additional tips for saving animals from extinction: 

      person holding baby kangaroo

      First, soak up as much knowledge as you can about your area's threatened or endangered animals. Next, do a little research on how you can help save the animals in your community. Remember, every little bit helps. There is never an action too small to begin saving animals. You can create a new domino effect and protect an endangered animal by making an effort.

      Open your home as a haven for wildlife. While this may sound like a huge ask, it can be as simple as setting out or building a small birdhouse, cleaning bird baths to reduce the spread of infection, setting out sugar water for bees, reducing your water usage, or keeping your pets inside at night. 

      Speaking of pets, get into the habit of restraining your dog. Unfortunately, dogs have led to the extinction of 11 species. As a result, your best fur friend may be a potential threat to other animals already facing endangerment.

      Consider adding a fence or wireless fencing options, keep your pal on a leash when walking, and be mindful on trails. You could help save the animals that are being threatened or already on the endangered species list. 

      jungle with water shaped as the recycling symbol

      Do your part and recycle. We know trash has a massive impact on biodiversity, particularly our oceans. It only takes a moment to recycle, but it can leave a significant impact on our endangered species. So, recycle and encourage others to recycle and help in our fight to save the animals. 

      SpiritHoods and Our Love for All Animals

      If you’re new to SpiritHoods, you should know that animals mean everything to us. Everything we do is inspired by our animal friends and in their best interest.

      We may be known for designing luxuriously soft and stylish products, but our passion is to save animals and join the fight to help endangered animals. This means, for all of us that work at or with SpiritHoods, every day is save the endangered animals day!

      We strive to learn new things about our wildlife friends, be it fund facts or new ways to protect them. We are dedicated to making a pawsitive impact (see what we did there?) by soaking up all we can about these magnificent creatures.

      SpiritHoods' Mission to Save Endangered Animals

      We’re always searching for new ways we can help save endangered animals. Whether improving our current efforts or joining forces with new partners, we want to continue our animal-saving efforts above all else.

      woman wearing african golden cat luxe faux fur collector edition spirithood with black jeans on a tan background

      We prrrride ourselves on working closely with our manufacturers to develop luxurious, high-quality faux fur while minimizing our carbon footprint. We believe there’s more to stylish hoods and home goods than prowling the night draped in sleek warmth. We believe in creating products that stand for meaningful change and giving back as a way to help save aniamls in the process.

      We are proud to donate 10% of our net profits to our amazing nonprofit partners every year. We believe in their work and strive to help them fight the good fight in saving animals from extinction.

      We partner with creative minds who share our quest for saving animals, such as the snow leopards and polar bears. We can highlight its beauty through our creations, such as the sleek Snow Leopard Classic Faux Fur Robe, without sacrificing the magnificent creature for its fur and warmth. Our collabs with creatives like Lora Zombie allow us to share our appreciation of the beautiful polar bear while bringing awareness to the pressing issues of polar bear endangerment.

      Lora zombie artist edition luxe courage polar bear faux fur throw on tan background

      Saving Endangered Animals Together

      We invite you to take a look at our incredible partners and their efforts to help save animals. We are proud to join them in their efforts to spread the word about endangered animals and how we can address the issue of animal extinction. 

      Below is a list of the partners we encourage you to visit. We fully support their commitment to the cause and praise their efforts in saving animals in need of help. They fight effortlessly to rally help and awareness for all endangered animals, from the gorgeous snow leopard to the magnificent polar bear. 

      Our incredible partners include:

      • Pandas International
      • Snow Leopard Conservancy
      • Predator Defense
      • Panthera
      • Polar Bears International
      • Animal Tracks Inc.
      • Pawsitive Beginnings

      As you strut your stuff in your new SpiritHoods faux fur, feel good about your choice and know you're contributing to saving animals. Get your purrrfect SpiritHood now.