Why do animals become extinct?

Why do animals become extinct? The dodo, a large clumsy bird, which could not fly used to live on the island of Mauritius near Africa. But European settlers changed the dodo’s habitat and took away its supply of food. By 1681, there were no living dodos. It was extinct. Many other kinds of animals and birds have become extinct in recent years. There are many more that soon might only exist as stuffed creatures in a museum.

A few years ago a group of scientists collected information about hundreds of animals and birds which are in danger of dying out. They published their findings in the Red Data Book.

The Red Data Book tries to make people aware of the need to protect all living things. It warns that animals that are hunted for their skins and fur, such as tiger and the polar bear, or for their meat and fatty oils such as the whale, will soon die out completely.

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