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endangered species

1. Literally, a species that is in danger of becoming extinct. Once an endangered species, these majestic creatures have made a great comeback with the help of preservation efforts.
2. By extension, something that is already very rare or could soon become rare. I worry that this type of work will soon be an endangered species if funding keeps getting cut.
See also: endanger, species
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

endangered species

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.
See also: endanger, species
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

an endangered species

If you describe something as an endangered species, you mean that there are not many of them left. Business class is in danger of becoming an endangered species, except on long flights. Bassoons, oboes and the big brass instruments are endangered species because children do not want to play them. Note: This expression comes from the literal meaning of a plant or animal that is likely to die out soon.
See also: endanger, species
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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References in periodicals archive ?
Engaging the class in a discussion about endangered species conservation is also a good way to prepare.
Visit our Action Center at americanforests.org/TakeAction and let your Congressional members know you want a strong, effective Endangered Species Act.
Let's consider a local critter that is endangered. The rusty-patched bumblebee looks, to the layman, like your run-of-the-mill bumblebee.
(1) Introduce the lesson with a game of endangered species charades.
According to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), the common leopard, snow leopard, Ladakh urial, greater spotted eagle, fish eagle, houbara bustard, crowned river turtle, Indian soft-shell turtle and many other mammals, birds and reptiles in Pakistan are 'vulnerable'.
In a (https://www.nrdc.org/media/2017/170321) statement Tuesday , NRDC senior attorney Rebecca Riley said, "The Trump administration reversed course and listed the rusty patched bumble bee as an endangered species just in the nick of time.
Endangered Apparel is launching their initial clothing line in two colors, black and white.
I propose to my brother bishops to enforce the directive that no donation of any new statue or religious object made from ivory or materials extracted, taken or derived from protected and endangered species shall be accepted and blessed, he added.
In question is a practice known "sue and settle" under which environmental advocates sue the federal government if it misses deadlines to respond to their petitions seeking to name a new endangered species.
This graph shows the number of critically endangered, endangered, and vulnerable species in some groups of vertebrate animals.
The arrest was made during a buy-bust operation launched by the DENR 7 and the Provincial Government of Cebu, who got a tip that endangered birds were being sold in Talisay City.
AMUR leopards, a fig-loving bat and critically endangered monkeys are among the top 10 mammals avoiding extinction with the help of zoos.
Summary: In an effort to support environment conservation programmes, the Emirates Post Group, in association with Dubai Customs, organised an awareness campaign on endangered species by sponsoring an information stand at the Central Post Office in Dubai.
Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Program is putting endangered species on the map.
That's the message from conservationists as a new list of endangered species is revealed.