There was a time when people thought animals could never go extinct since they were God’s creation. However, the fact that our planet is in its sixth mass extinction of plants and animals proves otherwise. Scientists estimate that dozens of species go extinct everyday. With the rate at which we are going, we could lose thousands more in the nearest future.
Let’s take a look at some of the animals that are on the verge of going extinct.
Cross River Gorilla
Cross River gorillas live in a habitat surrounded by many humans. As a result, they are vulnerable to poaching and their territories are encroached upon by these humans. The Cross River gorilla was officially listed as an critically endangered by the IUCN IN 1996. There are only about 200-300 Cross River gorillas left in the world.
Though most species of leopards live in Africa, the Amur Leopard is a native of Russia. With just less than 70 individuals left in the wild, the Amur Leopard could go extinct at any time. The greatest threat to the amur leopard are humans who hunt and kill them for their beautiful fur. They have been classified by the IUCN as critically endangered since 1996.
These tree-swinging creatures depend on the forest for their survival but unfortunately, their population has seen a significant decline due to mass deforestation. Since the millenium, they have been classified by the IUCN as critically endangered. There are just 6,000 sumatran Orangutans left on this earth.
A few years ago, the Black Rhino’s population was so low that newspaper articles said they were “doomed to disappear from the face of the earth due to man’s folly, greed, neglect.” Their population has now increased to about 5000 due to efforts to protect them. Nevertheless, they are still clasified as critically endangered by the IUCN.
Hawksbill turtles have traveled our seas for over 100 million years and are found around the world in tropical oceans. They are another species that have been classified by the IUCN as critically endangered since 1996.
The Javan Rhinos are the most endangered of the 5 species of rhinos that exist. There are just about 6o individuals left in Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia. They are critically endangered according to the IUCN.
Discovered in 1958, Vaquita are the world’s rarest mammals and are at the brink of going extinct. As at 2016, their population had decreased by half and it is still on a constant decline.
As their name suggests, Mountain Gorillas live high up in the mountain at elevations of about 8000-14,000 feet. Their thick fur helps them survive at temperatures below freezing point, However, since humans started encroaching on their territory, they have been forced to move farther up into the mountains, making them face harsh weather conditions. Thankfully, their population which was once about 680 individuals has seen a surge to about 1000 individuals.
Saolas were only discovered in 1992 but have already been classified as critically endangered. They are one of the rarest large mammals to roam the earth and are only found in the Annamite Mountains of Vietnam and Laos.
These tough-looking mammals are dwindling in population due to poaching and habitat loss. They are also the most trafficked animal in the world, hunted especially for their scales which are an expensive commodity in the black market. The eight species of the pangolin range from vulnerable to critically endangered.
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