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How does an animal get on the endangered species list?

Last week I posted an Endangered Species Glossary, discussing what the differences are between an animal that's endangered, threatened, etc.  The next question is, how does an animal fit the criteria for being put on the endangered species list?

It's not as easy as I initially thought it would be.  It takes careful observation and lots of crunching numbers.

For an animal to be considered critically endangered, the animal must be at least an 80% reduction over the last 10 years (or three generations).  For an animal to be considered endangered, the reduction percentage must be at least 50%.  For vulnerable, it's 10%.

These conclusions must be come to by observation, suspicion, inferred, or estimated based on direct observation.  There is a lot of mathematics involved, and there must also be a quantitative analysis showing the probability of extinction in the wild.   The United Nations Environment Program has a long list of criteria where you can read the details.  

Which animals are endangered?  Earth's Endangered Creatures has a list.   It's very sad and the list is extremely long.  Kinda makes you wanna run over to WWF and donate, huh?