Since the beginning of time countless species of animals have disappeared. In Why Are Animals Endangered?, Isaac Asimov explains how the destruction of animal habitats can lead to their endangerment and tells us what we can do to prevent it.
For general information on the “Ask Isaac Asimov” series, see What Is a Shooting Star?
On the whole, the environmental books in the “Ask Isaac Asimov” series fare better with me than the astronomical books; perhaps this is because Asimov doesn’t cover environmental issues elsewhere for young children except in the relatively obscure Earth: Our Crowded Spaceship. As a result, I’m a bit less resentful of the incredible cost of this particular book and actually enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend it to an elementary school student with an interest in the subject.
This book was actually disappointing to me. Granted, it’s about endangered and not extinct animals, but still—no woolly mammoths, no dodo birds, no quagga, no great auks, no Marco Polo sheep, no Tasmanian wolves, no passenger pigeons. Human beings have shown a remarkable capacity to destroy entire species and a litany of the lost can underscore this dramatically. This is one of the books in the series that fails to really capture the full extent of the disaster Nature faces as a result of human greed and shortsightedness.
I enjoyed the book—but it could have been a lot stronger than it was.