What does it mean?
A vulnerable species is likely to become endangered unless the reasons they are vulnerable are fixed and/or they are able to increase reproduction. For example, an animal that has a decreasing population due to hunting, may be placed in a protected status so they cannot be hunted. In addition, education on their importance to the ecosystem may be provided so that people understand the risk of losing this species.
A Vulnerable species possess a very high risk of extinction as a result of rapid population declines of 30 to more than 50 percent over the previous 10 years (or three generations), a current population size of fewer than 1,000 individuals, or other factors.
Asian small-clawed otters are the smallest of the 13 otter species. They have a sleek, thin body with dark brown fur on the top of their body and a lighter tan on their underside. They have small, partially webbed claws on their front paws, which give them their name. These claws are used for tasks such as grooming and manipulating food. They have excellent vision both underwater and on land.
The shells and skin are a brownish or yellowish in color, perfect for blending into a desert habitat. The head and limbs are the same color as the shell and are protected with thick scales. There are one or more enlarged, conical spurs (or tubercles) on the upper hind limbs. African spurred tortoises will dig burrows in order to conserve moisture. The burrows may reach up to 10 feet below ground. Their skin is thickened and aids in the prevention of water loss. Much of the water they need to survive is extracted from the succulent vegetation that they feed on.
Snow leopards are known for their thick fur, which is pale gray or cream-colored, often with rosettes and spots on their coats that act as camouflage in their snowy habitat. These spots provide excellent concealment in their environment. Their long tails are used for balance, but also warmth. Their paws are large to act as snow shoes as they traverse across snowy mountaintops.
Military macaws are mostly green with a red forehead and upper tail feathers, they have bare white faces with small rows of black and red feathers. Their tail feathers are blue with bluish-red shorter feathers on top. Their eyes are yellow, their beak is a dark grey, and their legs are a lighter grey.