Species on the Edge

Common Sense Media says

365 threatened species come to life in beautiful photos.





What parents need to know

Ease of play

This app is fairly straightforward to use, particularly for kids familiar with encyclopedias. There is a help section that describes the app's features. Users can search for a species, view the species of the day, or browse species lists organized alphabetically, by threat category, or by taxonomy. Users can also mark favorites and see their recently viewed species. The pages themselves have good graphics, and text size can be increased.


The app describes threats to the animals' survival, such as hunting and poaching the animals for specific body parts. Hunting practices including shooting, poisoning, and trapping are mentioned but not shown or described in detail.


Animals' mating behaviors are not mentioned unless they are relevant to the species' survival, such as breeding in captivity to rebuild populations.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Minor privacy concerns. Users can share descriptions of animals on Facebook, Twitter, or via email. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Species on the Edge is an encyclopedia of 365 endangered plants and animals based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Each encyclopedia page has a photo, habitat map, taxonomy, IUCN Red List vulnerability ranking, and a written description of the animal's habitat, population, and threats. The threat descriptions often mention hunting or poaching, but not in graphic detail. Pages can be marked as favorites and shared on email, Facebook, and Twitter.

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SPECIES ON THE EDGE is a great reference for anyone with a casual or scholarly interest in endangered species. The species of the day and the beautiful photos help engage users, and the "threat thermometer" helps move people past the standard "endangered vs. extinct" categories. For kids willing to dig, there's also some interesting information about the importance of species and the purpose of the IUCN Red List. So, if you're already interested and involved and just looking for an encyclopedia to give you more knowledge and exposure, this is a great one. If you're looking for more interactivity and ideas about what you can do to get involved, though, this won't suit.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Release date:October 25, 2011
Size:68.80 MB
Publisher:HarperCollins Publishers
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.1 or later

This review of Species on the Edge was written by

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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