To begin with, all living things fill our world with beauty, wonder, and excitement. More importantly, we couldn’t live without them! All animals and plants are linked together. Each species plays a role in keeping the world of nature alive and in balance. We are a part of that natural world. Every species depends on other species. The plants and animals of the world sustain us.

When a species disappears, the balance shifts. Imagine that the world of nature is like a pyramid made of blocks. Each block has a role to play in holding up the pyramid. If you remove one block, it probably won’t make much difference. Even if you remove 25 blocks, it may not cause much damage. But if you remove hundreds and thousands of blocks, the pyramid will almost certainly fall down. When too many plants and animals disappear, it harms the world we live in, and people suffer. This has already happened in many parts of the world.

We can save endangered animals, however, if we really want to. Some have already been saved by making sure that they were no longer hunted or trapped. Many are given free range in protected preserves. And many are helped to reproduce and replenish their species in zoos.