Top 23 Endangered Animals in The World You May Not See Anymore
Uncountable numbers of animal species have become extinct. There are many more species of teetering on the verge of extinction. The main reason for such a tragedy is climate change, habitat loss, poaching, and destruction or human encroachment of natural habitat. The International Union for Conservation has even prepared a list of species whose extinction is threatened and is known as the Red List of Threatened Species. Even though we may have lost several animal species, man has not learned a thing and seems oblivious of the fact that we may not see these 23 endangered animals anymore.
1 The giant panda
The panda is one of the world’s cutest but endangered animals that man has driven on the brink of extinction. The giant panda may be a figure that is extremely popular from toys to CGI animation movies but such efforts are not translated into conserving the animal. China is now home to the only remaining wild panda population where perhaps only about 2,500 exist. The country has now established strict laws to protect the species yet the job of conservation is still a tough one because the animal is prone to disease and a dwindling food source which is the bamboo plant.
In 1938 a census of whooping cranes found only 29 existing in the wild. Only 16 remained three years later. The whooping cranes have been subjected to rampant hunting and reduction of their natural habitat. The cranes migrate between Alberta in Canada and Texas in the US. Today thankfully there are over 400 birds due to breeding programs where one population was established in Florida and taught to migrate to Wisconsin.
This exotic creature is found in Africa and Asia. Pangolins are nocturnal shy scaly creatures that feed on termites. Pangolins have been declared an endangered animals species because of dwindling numbers falling prey to hunting for their meat and scales. Statistics show that almost 10,000 are captured yearly.
This animal was discovered in 1992 and is referred to as the Asian unicorn. It is an extremely rare animal and is critically endangered species. Scientists have spotted the animal in the wild just four times and very little is known about the creature. The animal has two parallel horns on its head with white markings on its face. The Soala is native to the forests of the Annamite Mountains in Vietnam, and Laos. They are on the verge of extinction being threatened by native hunting and habitat encroachment by humans.
5Endangered Animals Vaquita
The Vaquita was first spotted in 1958 and was also named the Gulf of California Harbor Porpoise. It is the smallest of cetaceans and is just five feet long. Among endangered animals, It is considered the world’s rarest marine animal where only 60 are known to exist which is a huge decrease in its population since 2014. Found largely in the Mexican Gulf of California, the animal is being driven to extinction because of illegal fishing where they are caught and drowned in gill nets.
6Peruvian Black Spider Monkey
The Peruvian Black Spider Monkey is native to Eastern parts of South America and lives in the rainforests. It eats mainly fruit and is an important part of the tropical rainforest ecosystem contributing to seed dispersal. The population of this animal has decreased by 50% over the years because of hunting and gradual destruction of rainforests.
There are just 10,000 red pandas on existence. The animal is on the verge of extinction because of indiscriminate poaching and destruction of habitat. The challenge to conservationists is the low birth rate that retards its breeding.
The okapi is also called the forest giraffe and was declared on the list of endangered animals in 2013 after research in the Democratic Republic of Congo which is their native habitat on the verge of destruction. The okapi is also high on the list of poachers in the area.
The hawksbill turtle can be found near tropical reefs of the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The species is slowly dying due to poaching for their shells that are sold commercially. Sea Turtles have been living on the planet for millions of years but we have successfully brought down the number of hawksbills to 15,000 who can lay eggs.
Among endangered animals, the little carnivorous marsupial native to Tasmania has more or less been exterminated by disease namely facial cancer. The last census in the 1990’s found just 10,000 to 15,000 animals living in the wild.
The Kakapo is also called the owl parrot and is a flightless bird. It is native to New Zealand and is regarded as a critically endangered species. Just about 150 exist today and conservationists are trying hard to help kakapo chicks survive to prevent their extinction.
The Bowhead whale is a much favored mammal by poachers who hunt it for its meat and oil. Bowheads are found mostly in the Arctic and can live almost up to 200 years if man does not interfere with their existence.
The Sumatran Elephant is also among highly endangered animals and is a subspecies of the Asian elephant. Due to constant poaching for their ivory and reduction of their habitat, the Sumatran elephant’s numbers have decreased to only about 2,000 in the wild.
The gharial is a type of crocodile native to India whose numbers has reduced to almost 98% from 1946 to 2006. Now just 300 are believed to be in existence and are regarded as a critically endangered species by the IUCN. Indian wildlife authorities are doing their best to conserve the species.
The most majestic of all endangered animals, the mighty Malayan tiger is native to the Malayan Peninsula. It has been declared a critically endangered animal but still it is being poached for its meat and bones. Excessive development is also decreasing its habitat.
16The Bornean Orangutan
The Bornean Orangutan can be found only on the island of Borneo. They are different from their cousin, the Sumatran Orangutans as they have a shorter beard and broader face. In 1950, the population of the Bornean Orangutans decreased by 60%. As a result it has now been declared as an endangered species by the IUCN. By the year 2025, it is estimated that their population will be decreased by 22%. The main reason for its decrease is Illegal hunting, deforestation (habitat loss) and palm, rubber, and oil plantations.
Also among endangered animals, the pika also known as the llipika is found only in the ranges of Mountain Tienshan in the remote Xinjiang region of China. They are extremely small mammals growing up to 7-8 inches at the most. These little creatures have become very rare with their population decreasing to less than a 1000. Climate change is the main reason for the species decline.
Giant otters are the world’s largest otters, they are found only in South America and are the world’s rarest otters growing up to 6 feet. There are only a few thousands of these otters left because their aquatic habitats have been destroyed and polluted, thus leading also to a decrease in the fish population which otters survive on.
One of the world’s most endangered animals among species of wild cats is the Amur leopard. These are very nocturnal and solitary cats characterized by their rusty orange and thick yellowish coat along with dense and long fur. They can leap at an average higher than 19 feet and run at a speed of 37 miles per hour while weighing only 120 pounds. The Amur leopard has already gone extinct from the Korean peninsula and china but is now only found in Eastern Russia in the basin of the Amur River. Currently In the wild there are only 60 Amur leopards left.
The black footed ferret found only in North America is a member of the weasel family. They have a black mask which covers their face, black feet and legs, tan body and a black tip on their tail. Their diet mainly consists of prairie dogs which makes them highly specialized carnivores. Lack of habitat, and disease among prairie dogs resulting in lack of food sources are the main reasons for their endangerment.
In 1834, Charles Darwin discovered this species of fox which is dark in color, has short legs and is mostly active during dawn and night. They are known as the Darwin’s fox and are only found in two places in Chile, one being the Island of Chiloe and Nahuelbuta National park.
The white-rumped vulture is one of the most endangered species of vultures. In the 1980’s, over 99% of its entire population had been wiped out which has been considered a catastrophic decline all over the entire Indian subcontinent. According to Mother Nature’s network, this has been recorded as the fastest decline compared to all bird species.
Among critically endangered animals, the Sumatran Rhinoceros is the smallest rhino in the family. It is the only rhino in Asia which has two horns. They live in isolated pockets present in dense forests on the mountain areas located in Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar. The Java Rhino and Sumatran Rhino are the most endangered species of Rhinos in the world with Sumatran Rhinos having a population of only 220 to 280.