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Endangered Animals Theme Unit
The World's Most Endangered Animals



The World's Most Endangered Animals
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.58

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    hairy-nosed, housecat, invasive, shaggy, extinction, iguana, mating, wombat, species, farmland, study, pounds, world, addax, antelope, northern
     content words:    Grand Cayman, Caribbean Sea, African Buffel, Iriomote Island


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The World's Most Endangered Animals
By Cindy Grigg
  

1     Scientists around the world study endangered animals. They try to guess at how many animals are left in the wild. Sometimes the number of animals increases as people do things to try to help them. Sometimes the number of animals decreases.
 
2     Today there are more people on Earth than there ever have been before. People need places to live. They need food. They turn forests into farmland. They are polluting air and water. New roads and cities take land away from animals. People hunt some animals for their fur, tusks, horns, or meat. Many animals today are at risk of becoming extinct. When an animal is extinct, there will never be any more of them on Earth. Some animals may be saved if we act fast to help them. For some, it may already be too late. These are some of the most endangered animals in the world.
 
3     The Grand Cayman blue iguana lives on just one island in the Caribbean Sea. It was thought only 5-15 of them were left in the wild. This iguana weighs as much as thirty pounds. They may grow to five feet long! It turns blue during mating season. These iguanas have been hunted by people for food. Many are run over by cars. Wild dogs destroy their nests. Two nature preserves are using captive breeding to help the iguanas. As of April 2007, 299 iguanas had been released back into the wild.

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Endangered Animals Theme Unit
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