What is an endemic species?

If you're coming from our invasive species section, then you might already know all about animals that start to live in places they normally don't come from! So if an invasive animal is living in a habitat it's not from, then what's the opposite of that? Well that's an endemic species! An endemic species is an animal or organism that is native to a certain habitat or location in the world. Instead of being invasive, where the animals have been let out and started to reproduce and live in the new habitat, endemic animals are living exactly in the right habitat they belong. There are many reasons why a species will become endemic to a certain region, including...

  • Type of climate
  • Other animals as prey/predators in the area
  • Certain plant life only found in that area
  • Migration and evolution of their ancestors

Endemic animals can become endangered, or even extinct, if the habitat they live in is threatened, either by new organisms/species being introduced, or by human interaction causing drastic changes to the environment.

Some animals and where they are endemic to:

  • Kangaroos in Australia
  • Lemurs in Madagascar
  • Glacier Bear in Alaska
  • Hawaiian Monk Seal in Hawaii
  • African Elephant in Africa

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