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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 ?
Finally, the court refined the notion of "endangerment" to include alienating behaviors.
These statutes included obstruction of justice, (57) contributing to the delinquency of a minor, (58) mandatory reporting of suspicions of child sex abuse, (59) and child endangerment. (60) Other jurisdictions concluded that no statute could hold supervisory priests accountable either because the relevant statutes of limitations had expired or because the conduct did not meet statutory requirements.
15 on seven charges: two counts of assault and battery causing substantial bodily injury, two counts of reckless endangerment of a child, two counts of cruelty to animals and one count of cultivating marijuana.
* Candice Alex, 27, on insurance fraud, theft over $500, and child endangerment.
A New Jersey mother has been charged with child endangerment after allegedly allowing her then five-year-old daughter to join her on a sun bed.
Washington, Jan 24 ( ANI ): Halle Berry's ex and the father of her daughter Nahla, Gabriel Aubry is being investigated for criminal child endangerment and battery.
Not only is this a reckless endangerment of human life it is cruel to the bulls.
The so-called "endangerment" finding, announced by the EPA in December 2009, has been a crucial stepping stone toward federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, which is being phased in gradually after beginning in January.
Torn pled guilty to reckless endangerment, criminal trespass, criminal mischief and i l legal ly carrying a revolver.
In a news release, the Association offered its "strong support" of EPA's decision to deny petitions asking the agency to reconsider its greenhouse gas endangerment findings.
Slater, 38, is accused of criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing.
In general, petitioners argued with the EPA's "Endangerment Finding," their arguments drawn largely (according to related documents) from "disclosed private communications among various scientists, a limited number of errors and claimed errors in the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report...and submissions of a limited number of additional studies not previously considered as part of the scientific record of the Endangerment Finding."
Thirty-eight-year-old Patrick Fousek and 20-year-old Samantha Tomasini pleaded not guilty to child endangerment...
According to Shannon Goessling, executive director and legal counsel for the Southeastern Legal Foundation, the organization filed the lawsuit because "The scientific basis for the EPA endangerment finding is flawed, based on questionable and potentially fraudulent data, and certainly does not rise to the level of certainty necessary to upend the American economy, toss millions out of work, and which promises little or no climate change benefit over the next half-century."
For more information regarding EPA's endangerment finding, go to http:// www.epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment.html.