The most recent issue of Outdoor Photography, which can be downloaded for free from ValueMags, has a feature on the best way to take pictures of wild animals to support animal rescue facilities. These facilities are important to the survival of many animals, which becomes quite clear when considering how many different animal species have gone extinct or are in grave danger of becoming extinct.

First, it is important to know that there is more than one type of extinction. There can be total extinction, where all members of a species have died or there can be wild extinction, meaning the species no longer exists in the wild, but one or more exist in captivity. It is easy not to realize how much extinction or endangerment has occurred, especially for people who live in a city, since the decline of multiple species may not be as apparent in an urban area. A good way to understand is by considering animal population numbers and how they have been changing.

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), populations of vertebrae animals, which includes mammals, birds, and fish, have declined 58 percent between 1970 and 2012. WWF breaks this down in their Living Planet Report from 2016 and reports that terrestrial animal populations have declined by 38 percent, marine animals by 36 percent, and freshwater animals by the largest amount—81 percent—between 1970 and 2012. When considering these declines, it is important to think about what may be causing them.

WWF reports that there are multiple causes of such a large decline in animal populations overall. The most common cause is habitat loss and degradation, meaning animals are losing their homes and places suitable to their needs are dwindling. Another cause that WWF reports is climate change. Climate change contributes to endangering a species because atypical weather and temperatures can trigger certain events to occur at the wrong time, such as reproduction or migration. The other most common cause of extinction is overexploitation of a species, which can happen both intentionally and unintentionally, and occurs often through poaching or overfishing.

The good news is, organizations like the World Wildlife Fund are working hard to fix these problems through multiple different avenues. To learn more about animals and the great outdoors, read the full WWF report on their website and download Outdoor Photography for free from ValueMags today!