|endangered species (ěn-dān'jərd) Pronunciation Key
A plant or animal species existing in such small numbers that it is in danger of becoming extinct, especially such a species placed in jeopardy as a result of human activity. One of the principal factors in the endangerment or extinction of a species is the destruction or pollution of its native habitat. Other factors include overhunting, intentional extermination, and the accidental or intentional introduction of alien species that outcompete the native species for environmental resources.
A group threatened with extinction or destruction. For example, Workers willing to put in overtime without extra pay are an endangered species, or With the new budget cuts, public television has become an endangered species. This expression, originally referring to species of plants or animals in danger of dying out, began in the 1980s to be extended to anything or anyone becoming rare.