Why Do Animals Become Endangered?

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

Humans are largely responsible when animals become extinct, endangered or threatened. Here are some reasons why animals become endangered:

Destruction of Habitat

Humans destroy precious habitat--the natural environment of a living thing--when they fill swamps and marshes, dam rivers and cut down trees to build homes, roads and other developments.


Oil spills, acid rain and water pollution have been devastating for many species of fish and birds.

Hunting and Fishing

Many animals are over-hunted because their meat, fur and other parts are very valuable.

Exotic Species

When animals or plants arrive into a new habitat from a foreign place they sometimes introduce diseases that the native species can't fight. These "exotic" species can also prey on the native species.

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