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10 Best Books on Endangered Species

Protecting our environment and its inhabitants is currently everyone’s obligation. These books on endangered species will help us better understand the crisis we face and find ways to revert the trend.

Endangered species include any animal or plant facing the risk of extinction in the near future. And, it’s not a secret that most of the endangered species face this calamity, mainly due to human activities. Habitat loss due to drought and human encroachment, poaching, and invasive species are some of the main factors posing a risk to these species.

Currently, numerous species fall under the endangered category and will certainly cease to exist if measures are not set up to combat this. One way of protecting these precious species is creating awareness about the issue and showing people the consequences of their actions.

While other measures like putting up conservancies and laws that protect the endangered species are necessary, information is still a key driver in this fight. That’s why so many books on endangered species have been written, trying to convey that information to the public.

Whether you want a book for your teen, pre-teen, or even your learned colleague, you can try out one of these pieces.

Top Books on Endangered Species

  1. KILLING GAME: The Extinction Industry by Eduardo Goncalves

killing game

This is one of the most comprehensive books on endangered species. It focuses more on Trophy Hunting, something it says is fast-tracking the road to extinction for many endangered species. The book was launched during Cecil the lion’s shooting, fifth anniversary.

Generally, it shows how Trophy Hunting can be the end for some of our most treasured animals like lions. It details that the deaths of just 5% of the current adult male lions’ population could be the final push to the species extinction. The book reveals that by the year 2050, we could be having zero lions on the planet.

Now that’s a sad reality!

Besides lions, the book talks in great depth about the effect of poaching on African Elephants due to their tusks. Poachers and trophy hunters’ insatiable appetite for this animal’s tusks is gradually leading them to extinction. Elephants are being killed each passing day for their invaluable tasks, which makes me wonder – where will the tasks come from if all the elephants are gone?

Various scientific studies show a considerable relation between trophy hunting, poaching, and population declines in the wild. Other animals mentioned in this book include the Chinese White Rhinos, Black Rhinos, Leopards, Cheetah, and Polar Bears (whose genitalia is an ingredient in many traditional Chinese medicines).

The book is available on Amazon, both in Kindle and paperback versions.

  1. National Geographic The Photo Ark: One Man’s Quest to Document the World’s Animals by Joel Sartore

the photo ark

As mentioned earlier, knowing about these endangered species is one step towards saving them. That’s all that Joel Sartore does – helping us know the animals.

The author has taken on a life-long project of making portraits for all endangered species. He does this by documenting all animals in captivity in an attempt to grow the list of endangered animals facing extinction.

By touring the globe, visiting conservations, wild rescue centers, and zoos, Joel Sartore has compiled portraits of over 12,000 species, creating a massive photo book of endangered species.

Paired with the articulate style of Douglas Chadwick (a veteran wildlife writer), the portraits are presented in a captivating way that makes you want to see more.  The diversity in species, from smallest to biggest and from all corners of the globe, offers just the perfect way to understand the danger our wild species are in.

And, with the continued climate change posing even more danger to our species, the book advocates for an even urgent way to protect and save our species.

  1. A Most Remarkable Creature by Jonathan Meiburg

most remakarble creature

This is a captivating account of a modern-day tour of discovering Caracaras, clever and social birds of prey, which baffled Charles Darwin more than 2 centuries ago.

Back in 1833, as Charles Darwin toured the Falkland Island, he came across some social, tame and inquisitive crow-like falcons called the Caracaras. While Darwin didn’t put too much thought into these birds, almost 200 years later, the birds are an endangered lot.

Caracaras are undoubtedly some of the most amazing creatures of South America. And Jonathan Meiburg, in his book, takes us on a journey throughout the continent, just to discover about these stunning but endangered birds.

Through this book, you can be sure to learn all there is to know about the birds’ origin, history, and stunning features.  And to make it even more interesting, he encompasses the work of a Victorian naturalist and writer, William H. Hudson, who championed these birds as the unrecognized natural wonder.

If you want to know more about these birds and how their existence is at stake, this book is a hybrid of captivating writing, biography, and travelogue that sheds more light on just that.

  1. Saving Endangered Species by Robert W. Shumaker

saving endangered species

When we hear about endangered species, what mostly comes into our minds is big majestic animals like elephants, rhinos, tigers, etc. But the truth is, there are many more animals whose populations have dwindled over the past few decades.

This book by Robert W. Shumaker gives us insights into just how extinction threatens numerous of our planet’s species. It details how over a third of all the known birds, mammals and reptiles have experienced distressing population losses.

Also, according to the author, about a third of all known insects are at the risk of extinction. These include bees and other vital players in pollination, which would bring devastating effects on our planet’s food supply.

Currently, there are over 15,000 species of animals that fall under the endangered animals’ list. However, on the brighter side, the efforts that different governments, conservationists, and environmental leaders have taken, is giving hope to some of these species.

The author of this book has brought together 10 renowned conservationists to offer their perspectives on wildlife conservation matters and our natural world’s future. If you are looking for the best endangered species books online, this is one of them.

  1. The Elephant by Jenni Desmond

the elephant

Through this children’s book about endangered species, Jenni Desmond gives our kids insights into the largest land mammal. From the African plains to Asian deciduous forests, elephants have roamed here for millions of years. However, their numbers are taken a deep dive due to drought, loss of habitats, and poaching.

These magnificent creatures, known to be quite flexible despite their massive weight, also have an acute sense of hearing. They can hear other elephants rumbling, even as far as six miles away. Even more interesting, some elephants are right-tusked while others are left-tusked – just like humans.

If you want your kids to learn about endangered species from an early age, this is an excellent endangered species book you can pick.

Jenni Desmond is known to create scientifically correct illustrations that are amazingly detailed, beautifully made from paint, collage, and colored pencil. She even scooped the 2016 “New York Times Best Illustrated award.”

  1. Lost Animals: Extinct, Endangered, and Rediscovered Species by John Whitfield

books on endangered species-lost animals

This book allows us to meet and learn about animal species that once roamed the earth but are long gone. Most of them disappeared due to hunting, competition, mass extinctions (like the dinosaurs), and various human activities.

Through this book, John Whitfield brings back some of the most magnificent and alluring creatures that ever lived. He uses over 200 stunning portraits, scientific drawings, and fossils artwork of various creatures most of us never knew existed.

Here, you’ll learn about species like paraceratherium (largest land mammal ever to exist), dodos, spinosaurus, and placoderm fishes, among others. The book is simply a riveting piece detailing evolution and extinction.

Every chapter in this book covers a certain time in history, dating back to the Cambrian explosion. And, it offers profiles of the main animal species that lived then.

With such a detailed book on extinction, one would only see the need for increased measures towards protecting our living species – lest the future generations learn about the current species only in books.

  1. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

sixth extinction

Studies show that the earth has experienced five life mass extinctions over the past half a billion years. And, scientists believe that we have not seen the last of them. They predict that there will be a sixth mass extinction, which is predicted to cause more devastation than any of the past ones.

Scientists all over the globe are monitoring this event, trying to understand what effects it will have on the globe and its species when it occurs.

In this book, Elizabeth Kolbert integrates history, excellent field reporting, and the work of botanists, geologists, and marine biologists, to compile and tell the fascinating stories of numerous species. This is one of the books on endangered species that gives you a chance to learn about the Sumatran rhino, the Panamanian golden frog, and other already extinct species.

Elizabeth Kolbert highlights that this extinction will have a more lasting legacy on mankind, thus requiring us to rethink the core question – what will extinction mean to the human race?

  1. Masters of Camouflage and Endangered Animals by Petra Demas

masters of camouflage

This one of the endangered species picture books containing hand-drawn portraits of 13 endangered species. The book takes us on a wild journey through the eyes of a young illustrator who has been fond of animals and protecting them since she was a toddler.

Through her book, she shares her passion for the masters of camouflage, as she calls them, and other endangered species around the world. She intends to protect endangered species by raising awareness through her artistry.

This coloring book contains black and white pages where you can color based on your unique style. It also contains hand-colored pages of these animals, as she envisioned them.

And, it’s not pictorial illustrations only she offers in this book. There are numerous facts about the species and the major threats facing each animal. All this comes from her in-depth research on the species.

The animals featuring in this book include pangolin, tiger, hawksbill sea turtle, snow leopard, octopus, whale shark, orchid mantis, etc.

See related: Endangered vs Threatened vs Extinct Species

  1. Endangered Species Superheroes Paperback by Dakota P. Duncan

endangered species superheroes

If you are looking for a comic book on endangered species for your kids, this is a perfect fit. Written as a graphic novel, it is one of the best books on endangered species pleading with humanity to learn about the problems caused by endangering our animals.

The book tries to evoke the idea that superheroes can be anyone, and can come in any size or shape. The teenager character in the book, Lindsey, loves assisting her grandfather in taking care of his wildlife sanctuary, as well as in research about various animals.

When an evil villain escapes from prison and tries to destroy everything Lindsey’s grandfather has worked for, she is ready to do anything to help prevent that. With the help of her friends from the sanctuary, including a marine iguana, sloth, and tapir, will they succeed in stopping the villain?

The book mainly focuses on friendship and respect. It also dwells on the world’s endangered species and the numerous environmental challenges the planet is facing.

  1. Kew: Rare Plants: Forty of the World’s Rarest Plants by Ed Ikin

books on endangered species-rare plants

In this endangered species of the world book, the author explores and offers insights into why the world’s rarest plant species are such exceptional. Also, looking at 40 of the rarest and most endangered plants, he tries to find out why they are so scarce, and through which means they became scarce.

He uses stunning botanical artwork from the Kew (Royal Botanic Gardens) archives to give the best story of these unique species. Combining these images with informative and authoritative content, the book offers more insights into endangered plant species than you can imagine.

You’ll notice as you read on that some of the world’s most stunning plants are also among the rarest or uncommon. This aspect attracts plant hunters, scientists, botanists, and gardeners to these species, pushing them to the edge of extinction.

However, institutions like Kew and others are using all means necessary to protect these endangered plant species.

Reading more books on endangered species will help enlighten us more on the best ways to preserve and protect our environment and everything in it.

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