The Ultimate Endangered Species Quiz


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About This Quiz

Humans now have the technology and methods to keep the Earth's diversity intact. Prove your endangered species knowledge with this HowStuffWorks quiz.

When did the Endangered Species Act go into affect?

The ESA is the most significant piece of endangered species legislation, having prevented the extinction of 99 percent of the species it protects since its inception in 1973.

How many U.S. and foreign species are currently protected under the Endangered Species Act?

Today, the Endangered Species Act protects more than 1,400 U.S. species and 600 foreign species.

Since the Endangered Species Act went into affect, how many on the list have gone extinct?

Unfortunately, nine species from the list have gone extinct. Just 14 have recovered enough to be removed.

Which of these mammals were among the first to be protected under the 1966 Endangered Species Preservation Act?

Technically all of these were among the first species to be protected under the 1966 Endangered Species Preservation Act, but only the Timber Wolf is a mammal. The Whooping Crane is categorized as a bird and the American Alligator as a reptile or amphibian.

What is the world's most endangered sea turtle?

The Kemp's Ridley Sea turtle is critically endangered, with an estimated population of about 1,000 females in the world.

True or False? The polar bear was the first animal added to the Endangered Species list due to climate change.

True. In 2008, the polar bear was listed as threatened due to the continuing loss of Artic sea ice.

What was the last feline to go extinct?

Thankfully, no cat has gone extinct since the saber-toothed cat nearly 11,000 years ago, but the Iberian lynx is coming close. It's the most endangered cat in the world, with numbers in the low hundreds.

Population of the western lowland gorilla is currently unknown. The species faces extinction due to what?

Diseases like the Ebola virus and illegal poachers are decimating what's left of this incredible species.

What percentage of habitat have tigers lost by deforestation, road building and other human activities?

It's estimated that tigers in the 13 tiger range countries have lost 93 percent of their historical range.

Due to the success of recovery efforts under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, what animal was taken off the Endangered Species list in the United States in 2013?

The gray wolf was officially removed from the list in 2013 after its population rebounded by as much as 300 percent.

What drastic measures have conservationists taken to help protect rhinos from illegal poaching?

Conservationists have taken to sawing off the rhinos horns, which are prized by illegal poachers.

What once-endangered animal is the national symbol of the United States?

The bald eagle was on the Endangered Species list for more than 30 years, but was removed in 2007 after a successful recovery.

What are the greatest threats facing endangered species?

Habitat destruction, illegal poaching and introduction of new species are all major threats to endangered species.

What can you do to protect endangered species from extinction?

Both are ways you can help protect endangered species from extinction.

In 1900, there were about 100,000 cheetahs worldwide. How many are estimated to be alive currently?

Estimates place the number of cheetahs at between 10,000 and 15,000, with about 1/10 of those living in captivity.

True or False? The Florida Manatee was one of the first listed endangered species.

The Florida Manatee was one of the first mammals listed under the 1966 Endangered Species Preservation Act.

The first endangered species list had more what than any other kind of animal?

The 1966 Endangered Species Preservation Act included nearly twice as many birds than mammals.

Which of the five rhinoceros species is the most endangered?

The Javan rhinoceros is the most endangered of the world’s five rhinoceros species, with an estimated 40 to 60 animals remaining on the western tip of the Island of Java in Indonesia.

Although the right whale is now protected, what is continuing to harm its small population?

Whales are drowning after becoming wrapped in commercial fishing gear. Although, with global climate change, the availability of food is also proving to be another serious threat to their recovery.

What critically endangered animal is so rare and seldom seen, it's often referred to as the Asian unicorn?

The saola is related to cattle and resembles an antelope with brown and white patches on its head and face and spindly horns. It was first discovered in 1992 and has been seen just a few times since.

This huge woodpecker was considered extinct until 2004.

A few sightings of the ivory-billed woodpecker in Arkansas and Florida have trickled in, but there's still no solid evidence of the ivory-bill’s continued existence. If a population does exist, it is likely to be tiny and extremely vulnerable.

What president signed the Endangered Species Act into law?

President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1973.

What law did the Endangered Species Act of 1973 replace?

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 replaced the Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969.

What is CITES?

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is one of the largest environmental agreements regulating the international trade in wildlife.

True or False? CITES regulates more than 5,600 species of animals and 30,000 species of plants, and has 181 member states as of 2015, including the United States.

True. CITES has a voluntary agreement and it currently includes 181 member states.

True or False? The United States is one of the largest consumers of both legal and illegal wildlife in the world.

True. The illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth $7 billion to $23 billion, making it the third-largest illegal trade by dollar value, after drugs and guns.

What is threatening the tiger's survival in the wild?

Both poaching and trade in tiger parts and products is a major threat to wild tiger survival.

What animal did the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service propose to delist from the Endangered Species Act in February 2016?

The ESA proposed delisting three subspecies of island fox native to California’s Channel Islands: the San Miguel, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Island fox. The removal would be the fastest recovery for any mammal on the Endangered Species List in the United States.

Of the dozens of species of rhino that once roamed the earth, how many still exist?

Just five species of rhino still exist on earth — the white rhino, the black rhino, the great-horned rhino, the Sumatran rhino and the Javan, all of which are endangered.

In 1930, between 5 and 10 million African elephants existed. What percent remained when they were added to the Endangered Species list in 1989?

Just 1 percent of African elephants — approximately 600,000 — survived when they were added to the international list of the most endangered species in 1989.

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