An endemic is an animal or plant that lives only in a specific area. One then says: “This animal or this plant is endemic to this area”. Such an area can be very small, for example, an island or a canyon. There are also animals or plants that are endemic to an entire continent, for example, the New World monkeys in South America.
There are many known endemics in the world. A famous example is the Galapagos tortoises, which are only found on the Galapagos Islands. They belong to the giant tortoises. Many people also know the kiwi birds in New Zealand. Dress birds are less well known. They belong to the finch family and live exclusively in Hawaii. Pandas, on the other hand, only live in the wild in a small part of China.
We also have endemics, for example, the Baden giant earthworm from the southern Black Forest, which grows to be over thirty centimeters long. The Bavarian spoonwort only grows in Bavaria. In some Austrian pine forests, you can still find the anemone ornamental basket, a particularly pretty flower. The rich-branched gentian is a special species of gentian that only flowers in the Swiss Alps.
Endemics are threatened with extinction more than other animals and plants. Often they are threatened because their habitat is lost. The smaller this is, the greater the danger.