Updated January 25th, 2024 at 09:22 IST

Did You Know About These Differences Between Threatened And Endangered Species?

While both threatened and endangered species face the risk of extinction, the severity of the threat and the immediacy of the danger distinguish the two.

Differences Between Threatened And Endangered Species
Differences Between Threatened And Endangered Species | Image:Unsplash

Human beings are considered to be the most intelligent species on the planet. But are we? Have we utilised the intelligence bestowed upon us to help the earth become a better place or have we continuously contributed to its degradation? The answer lies in the number of species that have gone extinct or are threatened and endangered by humans.

Threatened and endangered species are terms used to categorise the risk of extinction faced by various plant and animal species. While both classifications signify vulnerability, they differ in the severity of the threat and the likelihood of a species becoming extinct. Here are the key differences between threatened and endangered species.


Definition of both categories

The snow leopard falls under the threatened category | Image: Unsplash

Threatened Species - These species are at risk of becoming endangered if significant conservation measures are not taken. The threat level is lower than that of endangered species, but there is still a substantial risk to their survival.


Endangered Species - These species are at a higher risk of extinction. An endangered species is one that faces a very high risk of becoming extinct in the near future if immediate and intensive conservation measures are not implemented.

Population size

Threatened Species - The population of threatened species is declining and may have reached a critical point, but it is not as dire as the population of endangered species. There are still viable populations that can recover with conservation efforts.

Endangered Species - Endangered species have significantly reduced population sizes, and they are on the brink of extinction. The decline in their numbers is severe, putting them at a high risk of disappearing from their natural habitat.

Sumatran orangutans are endangered | Image: Unsplash

Habitat loss and destruction

Threatened Species - Threatened species often face habitat loss and destruction, but the impact may not be as immediate or extensive as it is for endangered species. Conservation efforts can potentially reverse the threats.


Endangered Species - Endangered species experience severe habitat loss and destruction, often due to human activities, climate change, or other factors. The critical state of their habitat puts them at immediate risk of extinction.

Legal Status

Threatened Species - Threatened species are typically granted legal protection to prevent their decline into the endangered category. Conservation measures, habitat protection, and restrictions on hunting or trade may be imposed to ensure their survival.

Javan rhinoceros are endangered | Image: Unsplash

Endangered Species - Endangered species receive the highest level of legal protection. Governments and conservation organizations work diligently to enforce strict regulations, implement recovery plans, and allocate resources to save these species from extinction.


Some examples of both

Threatened Species - Examples of threatened species include the North Atlantic right whale, snow leopard, and green sea turtle.


Endangered Species - Examples of endangered species include the Amur leopard, Javan rhinoceros, and Sumatran orangutan.


Published January 25th, 2024 at 09:22 IST

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