THE ANIMALS

Here is some information about the threatened species you will help by participating in the Eco Discount Card program:

Endangered Species

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Bald Eagles
The bald eagle symbolizes freedom and vision. This majestic bird of prey, and the only eagle unique to North America, is a very important part of First Nations culture. The Coast Salish’ interpretation is that the eagle’s freedom represents freedom for each individual and all life, while the eagle’s far-reaching vision represents how decisions made today leave a legacy for future generations.

The bald eagle is also the perfect example of the power of this perspective. There were less than 500 breeding pairs of bald eagles by the 1960’s, thanks to pesticides, hunting, and urbanization. Yet by 2007- as a result of conservation efforts- the bald eagle was removed from the endangered species list. Today there is a large, thriving population of bald eagles- it is now a symbol of freedom, vision, and of hope for other endangered species.

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White Rhinoceros
Did you know that white rhinos are actually gray? They live on Africa’s grassy plains and enjoy wallowing in water holes and rolling in mud to keep cool.

Only between 2 and 5 northern white rhinoceros currently live in the wild, in the Garamba National Park in northeastern DR Congo. Poaching and civil war has had its toll on the white rhino, yet there is hope.

For example, there are now more southern white rhinos than any other type of rhinoceros; however- not too long ago- the southern white rhino was thought to be extinct. There is no gray area when it comes to the future of the rest of the white rhinos – it is time to help them before it’s too late.

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Gorillas
All gorillas are considered endangered. Some are dangerously close to extinction as a result of climate change, infectious disease, hunting, and loss of habitat.

For example, the Cross River Gorilla is one of the top 25 most endangered primates. Like the southern white rhino, the Cross River Gorilla was once thought to be extinct. Rediscovered in the 1980′s, it is estimated that there are less than 300 Cross River Gorillas in the wild today and their current status is described as critically endangered. Loss of habitat and hunting are the biggest threats to this gorilla’s future: their forest homes are being logged and there has also been an increase in gorilla hunting for food for the loggers.

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Salmon
Wild salmon need lots of cool, clear and clean water surrounded by a healthy and natural support system streamside. Many species of wild salmon are threatened as a result of fishing, domestication, pollution, and obstruction of waterways used for migration.

We are the reason why salmon populations are declining: the damage has been inflicted over many years. It will take many years to correct all of the many ways we have negatively impacted the ecosystem. When this is achieved the salmon will thrive again.

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Humpback Whales
By the mid-60′s some estimates placed the humpback whale population as low as 1400. Today, there may be 20,000. This whales’ most threatening predator is the killer whale, which may prey on young whales. Human activity also has had a devastating impact- entanglement, ship strikes, and hunting. The whales off the Canadian Pacific coast are thought to number in the low hundreds and population continues to decrease – the Canadian government has classified them as threatened.

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Tigers
At one time, tigers lived all over Asia: from Russia and Turkey to China, India, and Saudi Arabia. One hundred years ago there were 100,000 tigers; today there are less than 3,500 in the wild.

At least 3 subspecies of tigers are already extinct, possibly 4 (the South China Tiger has not been spotted in the wild in at least thirty years). The remaining 5 subspecies are endangered. However, there is hope. Asian countries are working together on a project called The Global Tiger Recovery Program, working to double the tiger population by the next Year of the Tiger (2022).

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Polar Bears
The polar bear is the largest predator on land and the largest of all bears. Polar bear cubs live with their mothers for up to three years while they learn the skills necessary for survival in their habitat, which is mainly arctic sea ice. With thick fur to protect them from the cold, powerful strength, and excellent hunting skills, it seems like the mighty polar bear should have nothing to fear. Yet experts warn that polar bears could be in danger of extinction within the next century, thanks to their only enemy: humans.  Most Polar Bears live in territories in Canada, Russia and the U.S.: the very countries that are inflicting the most harm to them through over-harvesting and destruction of their habitat.

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