One of the most urgent problems that we have to face as a consequence of climate change and the destruction of the environment as a consequence of human actions is the continuous extinction of species. According to WWF (World Wildlife Foundation), in the last forty years 58% of our planet’s biodiversity has been reduced and, by area, Europe is one of the worst stops. This is due to several reasons, including the high industrialization of the old continent and the few protected areas that it had until a few decades ago. If you want to know some of the animals in danger of extinction in Europe , keep reading AgroCorrn where we show you lists according to the type of animals at risk and photos.
- Mammals in danger of extinction in Europe
- Endangered birds in Europe
- Reptiles at risk of extinction in Europe
Mammals in danger of extinction in Europe
Mammals have been one of the most persecuted animals in Europe and, especially, large carnivores are counted as the most threatened of all. This is because they are the ones that caused the most damage to livestock since they were considered as hunting “trophies” when this practice was more common. Fortunately, in most cases today its population is recovering and, thanks to conservation programs promoted by the Public Administration and non-profit institutions, many of them seem to be recovering little by little. These are the most endangered mammals in Europe :
The Iberian lynx
The Iberian lynx is the most threatened feline in the world. Currently, there are less than 100 living specimens in the wild. This is a good example of how the protection carried out in recent years has managed to stop the death of the last specimens. However, with such a small population, it is essential to increase the efforts dedicated to its protection. In the main image of the article we can see an Iberian lynx and its young.
The Iberian wolf is another of the large European carnivores that is most threatened. Currently, it is estimated that the number of copies is around 2,000 Iberian wolves, all of them are in Spain, which is their place of origin. Specifically, they live mainly between Castilla y León, Asturias and Cantabria.
Another of the most threatened mammals on the continent is the European mink. In this case, your situation is due to a main combination of two factors. On the one hand, the European mink has faced indiscriminate hunting for decades, to which must be added the presence of invasive species , specifically the American mink, which is the main competitor it currently has in its natural habitat. It is estimated that today its population is reduced to less than 500 specimens.
It is the largest mammal in Europe and it also has the sad privilege of being among the most threatened species. It is estimated that the population of this animal that hibernates is reduced to about 200 specimens in freedom, of which a good part is distributed between Spain and France, between Asturias and Cantabria and the Pyrenees mountain range.
Mediterranean monk seal
It is an original species from the Mediterranean Sea and, whose current population is estimated at a total of no more than 400 specimens, which is why it is considered in serious danger of extinction.
Endangered birds in Europe
However, the threatened species of Europe are not limited to mammals. In fact, birds are another of the groups of animals that appear more species in the catalogs of threatened species of the old continent. In the case of birds, there is a group that stands out above the rest, and they are raptors . The cause of this reason is found mainly in two causes that directly affect them due to their size and type of diet. Among the most threatened bird species in Europe are the following:
On the one hand, electrocutions have constituted a significant danger for these large birds, which when they come into contact with electric poles are the most affected due to their large wingspan. On the other hand, the presence of toxic substances in their habitats also constitutes a danger for their survival. These toxic substances can come both from pollutants that are discharged into the environment, and from poisoned meats that some farmers deposit in the areas close to their activity. This act, in addition to being illegal, is aimed at protecting livestock from other animals, mainly wolves and foxes. However, large raptors and scavengers , such as vultures, consume these substances more frequently and end up dying from the ingested poison.
In the photo below we can see a bearded vulture, one of the largest birds in Europe that is in serious danger of extinction.
Reptiles at risk of extinction in Europe
Finally, another of the groups that have a greater number of threatened species in Europe are reptiles. In this case, the main cause of this threat is due to the continued destruction of their habitats , and the lack of protected areas where they can reproduce normally.
Some of the species that should be highlighted are the giant lizard of El Hierro , which is an autochthonous species of the Canary archipelago, or the Mediterranean tortoise . In the latter case, it is the most common tortoise in Europe and, whose natural habitat should be the entire Mediterranean coast, but which, due to human actions, can currently only be found in the wild in some of protected areas of the continent.
If you want to read more articles similar to Endangered Animals in Europe , we recommend that you enter our Endangered Animals category .
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