Human beings are the greatest threat to the survival of endangered species through poaching, habitat destruction and the effects of climate change. Most of them are caused directly or indirectly by man, Only ambitious plans for protection can save these fascinating species. Unto the skin of an animal” and “almost impervious to an ax or the point of a hook. Here are 10 of the most endangered species.
10 –Giant Panda
Photo credit:Phys org
Native to the mountain forests of southwest China, the giant panda is one of the most beloved animals in the world. From stuffed animals to martial arts-trained CGI abominations, we just can’t seem to get enough of the bi-colored beasts. They might be the kitschiest animal humanity has driven to the brink of extinction yet. China, which is home to the remaining wild population of fewer than 2,500 individuals, has since the late 1980s instituted more stringent habitat protections and poaching has all but ceased.
Photo credit:National Geographic
Despite their tough appearance, these small, warrior built mammals are losing the battle against poachers and habitat loss. They are also in great demand in southern China and Vietnam because their meat is considered a delicacy and some believe that pangolin scales have medicinal qualities. All eight species of pangolin are classified by the IUCN as threatened with extinction, while two are classified as critically endangered.
Photo credit:World Wild Life
It has been predicted all tigers may become extinct in the wild within the next decade. Poaching, habitat loss and hunting have reduced the global population of tigers from over 100,000 in the 1900′s, to less than 4,000 in 2018. The tiger has long been hunted for its distinctive patterned fur. Of the nine tiger subspecies, three are already extinct, many are endangered but it is the South China Tiger and the Sumatran Tiger that currently face the biggest threat to their survival.
7 –Blue Whale
Photo credit:Natural World Safaris
Aggressive hunting in the 1900s by whalers seeking whale oil drove them to the brink of extinction. There are fewer than 25,000 blue whales, the largest animals on the planet. Comprising several subspecies, blue whales are found in all of the world’s oceans save the Arctic. The current population is thought to have been reduced by up to 90% by whaling in the 20th century.
6 – Rhinos
Photo credit:World Wild Life
Death of the last male northern white rhinoceros in Kenya is a sign that unsustainable human activity is driving a new era of mass extinctions. Three of the five species in the family of Rhinocerotidae, are among the most endangered species in the world: the Black Rhino, the Javan Rhino and the Sumatran Rhino. There are only 60 Javan Rhino surviving in National Park in java,Indonesia. he Sumatran Rhino is Critically Endangered. It has been estimated that less than 100 exist today in the wild. Where three subspecies are already declared extinct in 2011.
5 –Whooping Crane
Photo credit:All About Birds
The Whooping Crane has suffered major population decline due to habitat loss and over-hunting. The population fell to only 15 individuals in the 1940s. Today, there are over 800 birds, thanks in large part to innovative breeding programs. Though a plan that involved transferring whooping crane eggs to the nests of related sandhill cranes for fostering ultimately failed, captive rearing and reintroduction have established two wild populations in Florida, one of which has been taught to migrate to Wisconsin. Neither is self-sustaining. The only self-sustaining population migrates between Alberta, Canada, and Texas, U.S.
4 – Saola
Only recently discovered, saola are already extremely threatened.Saola is threatened primarily by hunting, rather than habitat loss. This beautiful animal risks going quietly extinct from insufficient attention. In 1992, the discovery of this mystical creature, sometimes referred to as the Asian Unicorn, in Vietnam was hailed one of the most spectacular zoological discoveries of the 20th century. Yet already, this elusive and beautiful animal been deemed by the IUCN to be Critically Endangered and is one of the rarest large mammals to exist on Planet Earth.
The snow leopard is no longer an endangered species, but its population in the wild is still at risk because of poaching and habitat loss. Probably fewer than 6,500 remain in the wild, though due to the remote mountainous terrain preferred by the species, and its elusive nature, data is hard to come by. The largest populations are in China and Mongolia, with significant populations in India and Kyrgyzstan as well. Its natural prey include blue sheep and ibex, but in some areas, it is heavily dependent on domestic animals.
Cross River Gorillas and Mountain Gorillas are both classified as Critically Endangered and Endangered by the IUCN since 1996 – that is two out of five gorilla subspecies. Mountain gorillas are one of the most endangered animals because of the threats they face that are harmful to their well-being and habitat. There are currently only 200-300 Cross River Gorillas left in the wild, and 900 Mountain Gorillas.
1 – Amur Leopard
Of all the leopards, the Amur leopard is the most critically endangered. Hunted largely for its beautiful, spotted fur, the loss of each Amur leopard puts the species on the brink of extinction. Since 1996, the amur leopard has been classified by the IUCN as Critically Endangered with less than 84 individuals thought to exist today.