What are the most endangered animals in the world? The IUCN classifies nearly 4,000 species as critically endangered, meaning they face such severe threats that they could soon become extinct in the wild. This list includes 16 examples of the planet’s most endangered animals, from birds, fish, and reptiles to marine and land mammals.
How many rhinos are left? Only about 18 Javan rhinos currently exist. Northern white rhinos, a subspecies of the white rhino, are possibly extinct in the wild, with an estimated 0-2 individuals left. This makes them critically endangered. Black rhinos are also critically endangered, with an estimated 3,142 individuals remaining.
Why are Javan rhinos endangered? Javan rhinos are critically endangered due to poaching and illegal trade of their parts, particularly their horn. Though they used to range across Southeast Asia, India, and China, they now only live in one national park on the island of Java in Indonesia.
Why are black rhinos endangered? Black rhinos are critically endangered due to poaching, habitat loss, and climate change.
Why are white rhinos endangered? White rhinos are near threatened due to poaching, illegal trade, and habitat loss. The northern white rhino, a subspecies of the white rhino that is critically endangered, faces threats of poaching and human conflict within its habitat.
How many Amur leopards are left? There are around 100 Amur leopards currently remaining, most of which live in the Russian Land of the Leopard protected area. The Amur leopard is not its own species, but rather is a subspecies of the leopard. They are native to the forests and mountains of eastern Russia and northern China.
Why are Amur leopards endangered? Amur leopards are critically endangered due to habitat loss, primarily from man-made fires, as well as poaching and inbreeding, which is a result of their small population.
Why is the orangutan endangered? All three species of orangutan—the Sumatran orangutan, the Bornean orangutan, and the Tapanuli orangutan—are critically endangered. Orangutans face the threats of hunting, fires, and habitat destruction, reducing their numbers.
How many orangutans are left? Currently, there isn’t any accurate population information available on orangutans. We do know that their numbers are decreasing.
How many gorillas are left? There are two species of gorillas, both which are critically endangered—the eastern gorilla and western gorilla. There are estimated to be only 2,600 eastern gorillas remaining in East Africa, and while the number of western gorillas is unknown, their population is reported to be decreasing. Mountain gorillas, a subspecies of the eastern gorilla, are endangered, and there are only about 600 remaining. However, their population is reportedly increasing.
Why are gorillas endangered? Gorillas are endangered due to habitat loss, hunting for bushmeat, and disease.
African forest elephants
Are elephants endangered? All three elephant species are endangered, but the African forest elephant, native to the tropical forests of sub-Saharan Africa, is critically endangered. The African forest elephant faces threats of poaching and illegal trade, habitat loss, and human conflict. Their slow reproduction also plays a role in their declining population.
How many African forest elephants are left? While the number of African forest elephants left in the wild is unknown, their population is reportedly decreasing.
Why is the saola endangered? The saola, a forest-dwelling bovine native to Vietnam and Laos that looks similar to a deer, is critically endangered due to commercial hunting, habitat destruction for commercial agriculture, roads, and mining, and the fact that the saola population is so small that individuals may become separated from one another and unable to breed.
How many saola are left? It is estimated that there are only a few dozen to a few hundred saola remaining in the wild—likely far fewer than the high-end estimate of 750.
How many kākāpō are left? There are only 116 kākāpō (also known as owl parrots) left in southwestern New Zealand, according to the IUCN. They live only in this small area. The kākāpō is a large, rotund, green parrot. The world’s only flightless parrot, kākāpō dwell on the ground and are nocturnal.
Brown spider monkeys
Are spider monkeys endangered? Yes, out of the seven species of spider monkeys, six are endangered or critically endangered. The brown spider monkey is critically endangered and has a decreasing population, though its population numbers are unknown. Brown spider monkeys face threats of hunting and habitat loss.
Are spider monkeys good pets? No, spider monkeys should not be kept as pets. They are wild animals that cannot be domesticated, and because of their endangered status, illegal trade and trafficking pose a threat to spider monkeys.
North Atlantic right whales
How many right whales are left? There are only about 340 North Atlantic right whales left, including only 70 calving females. The North Atlantic right whale is one of the world’s most endangered large whale species.
Why are right whales endangered? North Atlantic right whales are critically endangered, facing threats of vessel strikes, entanglement in fishing gear, ocean noise pollution, and climate change. Reducing these threats is a key part of IFAW’s work.
How many vaquitas are left? There are only 18 estimated vaquitas remaining. Vaquitas are a species of porpoise and live in a very limited range in the Gulf of California, off the coast of Mexico. They are the smallest species of the cetaceans, the order that includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises.
Why is the vaquita endangered? Vaquitas are critically endangered and on the brink of extinction. If the threats of fishing, habitat degradation, and climate change continue to persist, vaquitas will no longer be able to survive as a species.
Are pangolins endangered? Two species of pangolin—small, scaled mammals native to Asia and Africa—are endangered, and two are critically endangered, the Sunda pangolin and the Philippine pangolin.
How many pangolins are left? It is unknown how many Sunda pangolins and Philippine pangolins are left. Population estimates of the endangered giant ground pangolin and white bellied pangolin (also endangered) are also difficult to determine. However, the IUCN reports that all pangolin populations are decreasing.
How many hammerhead sharks are left? Five out of the nine species of hammerhead sharks are critically endangered—the scalloped hammerhead, the great hammerhead, the smalleye hammerhead, the scalloped bonnethead, and the scoophead shark. It is unknown how many of these hammerheads are left in the world. The scalloped and great hammerheads are found around the world, while the smalleye hammerhead’s range is restricted to the coastal waters of South America. The scalloped bonnethead lives on the western coast of Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. The scoophead shark has a wider range around Mexico, Central America, and South America.
Are box turtles endangered? Nine Asian box turtle species are endangered or critically endangered. The critically endangered species of box turtle include Pan’s box turtle, McCord’s box turtle, and the Chinese three-striped box turtle, which live in China, and Bourret’s box turtle, which is native to Vietnam and Laos. Population estimates for these species are unknown.
The Yunnan box turtle, also native to China, may already be extinct in the wild, with estimates of 0-50 individuals remaining.
The southern Vietnam box turtle, Zhou’s box turtle, the Indochinese box turtle, and the yellow-headed box turtle are also among the critically endangered.
Many other types of turtles around the world are critically endangered as well.
Are lemurs endangered? There are dozens of lemur species, and around two dozen of them are critically endangered, meaning they face imminent threats to their survival as a species.
Can you have a lemur as a pet? No, you should not have a lemur as a pet. Even though they are famous for their adorable appearances, lemurs are wild animals and are not suitable as pets. It is particularly important to discourage the trade and trafficking of lemurs because so many species are critically endangered.
Are macaws endangered? The red-fronted macaw, a green and red parrot native to Bolivia, is critically endangered. There are only 134-272 remaining in the wild. This macaw faces threats of habitat degradation due to human activity, including agriculture and deforestation, as well as illegal trapping.
Are blue macaws extinct? Yes, Spix’s macaw, which is known for its bright blue colouring, is extinct in the wild, though some populations exist in captivity. The last known individual in the wild disappeared in 2000. Once living in eastern Brazil, Spix’s macaw became extinct due to a combination of the long-term destruction of their woodland habitat and the illegal live bird trade.
Pygmy three-toed sloth
Are sloths endangered? While most sloths are not endangered, the pygmy three-toed sloth, which lives only on one tiny island off the north coast of Panama, is critically endangered. While there is a lack of accurate information available on this species, estimates suggest there are between 2,000 and 2,500 individuals remaining. Sloths face threats of human development, hunting, and deforestation.
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