Hello Rattler-teers! Today is Endangered Species Day, a chance to learn all about rare animals across the world. It’s really important to protect these animals and their habitats, or they might not be around for much longer.
Did you know that over half of the world’s animals live in rainforests? With the rapid destruction of the Amazon rainforest, this means there are lots of endangered species struggling to live there. Martin meets a few on his adventures – let’s have a look at some of them!
Jaguars are beautiful big cats who like to sneak up on their prey and pounce before they even know they’re there! Although they look like leopards, jaguars are slower and smaller, but have a powerful bite. They are also amazing swimmers and strong climbers, often found relaxing up in the trees. Jaguars are endangered because their homes are being destroyed and they have nowhere else to go. Worse, some people hunt them for their spotty fur.
Manatees are sometimes called sea cows because of their size and shape. They live their whole life in water, eating sea plants, and have big flippers to help them swim. They can even stay underwater for up to 14 minutes without coming up for air! Manatees are endangered because people used to hunt them for their meat and thick skin. Although the hunting of manatees was banned in 1974, their habitat is becoming more polluted and they are struggling to survive.
These shy creatures rarely leaves their homes to say hello, despite their size! Giant armadillos are covered in armour-like scales and have scary looking claws on their front paws. When they sense danger, they quickly use their nails to dig a hole and hide! Despite hiding from humans, giant armadillos are endangered because people are destroying their homes for farmland. Humans use their habitat to make raw materials, like sugar cane, which they use instead of oil.
GOLDEN LION TAMARIN
These tiny orange monkeys are sociable creatures and like to live in big families, sleeping together in dens in the trees. The golden lion tamarin is named after its striking bright mane and likes to eat anything it can, from insects to fruit to lizards! They are in danger of extinction because nearly all of their habitat has been cut down and they don’t have enough space to live. Some people have also captured these cute little monkeys to keep as pets, reducing their numbers significantly in the wild.
Why not celebrate Endangered Species Day by learning what is being done to help these animals live happily and safely in their natural habitat? Find out more about how you can get involved here, and check out what’s happening on Twitter here.