An endangered species is a species at risk of becoming extinct, primarily due to human activities. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates 39% of all organisms are endangered. The IUCN defines 'endangered species' as being a specific category between 'critically endangered' and 'vulnerable' species with a high risk of extinction in the near future. Most species become extinct without gaining legal protection. Endangered species laws are controversial and there are many obstacles, particularly from the petroleum, construction and logging industries.
More Information: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species