Initiatives to Protect Endangered Wildlife
Initiatives to help endangered species include the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, compiled by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) where threatened species are listed according to a set criteria and categorized according to conservation status as vulnerable, threatened, or endangered. The Red List is a tool that enables conservation bodies and relevant authorities to take precautionary measures to halt the demise of endangered species. Data is obtained from research projects sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and Birdlife International to name a few. WWF and Birdlife International, together with many other conservation organizations, not only spend time and money on research, but also on creating awareness of the plight of endangered species and the problems facing our planet.
Monitoring Trade in Endangered Wildlife
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement between governments, aimed at ensuring that international trade in wild species does not threaten the survival of these plants and animals. Endangered species are listed on one of three CITES appendices according to the level of trade permitted in order to control the international trade in threatened species. To this end, the wildlife trade monitoring network, TRAFFIC is an international organization dedicated to monitoring wildlife trade and providing essential information to wildlife authorities to ensure that the trade in wild species does not threaten the conservation of nature.
Captive Breeding Programs
In severe cases, where animals are facing extinction in the wild, captive breeding programs may be initiated in order to boost wild populations. In some cases, such as the endangered African penguin, abandoned young or chicks may be recovered from the wild and hand-raised in captivity to be released into the wild when fully capable of fending for themselves. Captive breeding programs are often used to supply a demand for threatened wild species, such as exotic parrots, from a captive breeding program to reduce the pressure on wild animal populations.