Hunting, habitat destruction…many animal species are in danger of extinction. Here is the list of 25 endangered animals in the world.
What are endangered animals?
The Patagonian Tinamou, an endangered bird. Credit : manakin
The endangered species designate species whose population is in decline. They can be classified into 3 categories:
- cash in danger of extinction ;
- the threatened species ;
- and those categorized as Least Concern and requiring special protection.
The IUCN Red List, or International Union for Conservation of Nature, indicates the number of species most threatened in the world: 22,700. It concerns in particular 25% of mammals and 13% of birds. It also defines the threat level. From the brown bear to the Javan rhinoceros, via the Asian elephant, the great white shark, the African gorilla or even bees, many species are threatened, some being in critical situation. In France, the boreal lynx or the European otter are classified in the list of endangered animals.
Animal populations under threat extinction living in the wild only number a few thousand, even a few hundred or tens of individuals. According to the WWF, they have declined by 68% since the 1970s. Endangered animals see their range destroyed due to human activities. Deforestation, illegal hunting, illegal trade are also directly involved.
1 – The Javan rhinoceros
Javan rhinoceros in the forest. Credit : Tobias Nowlan
The Javan rhinoceros is one of the rarest mammals in the world, with only fewer than 60 specimens. Victim of poaching by traders of remedies used in Chinese medicine, the Javan rhino now lives in protected areas from Indonesia and Java, such as Ujung Kulon National Park.
2 – The black rhinoceros
Black rhino in the Namibian steppe. Credit : Ruzdi Ekenheim
The black rhinoceros or Diceros bicornis lives in the plains of Zimbabwe, Namibia or South Africa. Classified in the category of threatened species, its population now numbers only about 5,500 individuals.
3 – The brown bear
Mama brown bear with her cub. Credit : Davidrasm
In Europe, the brown bear is the victim of hunting and its natural environment is shrinking due to human activities. Although this ursid is not directly threatened, its natural environment is shrinking and there are only 17,000 creatures left, according to the WWF. To protect it, it is necessary to change behaviors and adopt various measures, such as preserving forests and creating natural corridors.
4 – The black grouse, threatened bird
Black grouse singing in its natural environment. Credit : CHIARA_NATURECOLORS
Living on the Old Continent and in Asia, the black grouse is one of the endangered birds because of the reduction of their living area.
5 – The kakapo, endangered bird
Kakapo in a conservation center. Credit : Liu Yang
The kakapo, a flightless parrot, is endemic from New Zealand. In this country, there are only about 200 left. Almost unable to survive in the wild, the bird benefits from a conservation program.
6 – Eurasian lynx
Eurasian lynx in its natural environment. Credit : Neil_Burton
The boreal lynx lives in the north of the Old Continent and in Western Asia. About 10,000 specimens are counted on the old continent. The risk that weighs on this small feline is essentially linked to the destruction of its living area, as well as to the conflict with humans.
7 – The Asian Elephant
Asian elephant coming out of the forest. Credit : hasachai
The Asian elephant or Elephas maximus lives in the savannahs and shady forests of South / Southeast Asia. Weighing 4 tons in adulthood, the population of this elephantid has only 40,000 individuals.
8 – Sulphur-crested Cockatoo: parrot in a critical situation
Sulphur-crested cockatoo on a tree. Credit : tomava
Although still quite widespread, the sulphur-crested cockatoo falls into the categories of animals at risk of extinction. Its range covers mainly eastern Australia, New Guinea and New Zealand. The cacatua galerita is sometimes hunted in New Guinea for its feathers, and considered a pest in parts of Australia and New Zealand.
9 – The bonobo: endangered hominid
Bonobos in their natural environment. Credit : USO
The bonobo lives inhumid forestsof the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the humid forests of the Congo Basin. Victim of deforestation, but also of diseases and inbreeding, this hominid is endangered. There remain between 15,000 and 50,000 individuals.
10 – Forest cat, small feline threatened with extinction
European forest cat or wild cat. Credit : JMrocek
Resulting from the cross between the wild cat and its domestic congener, the forest cat suffers from the narrowing of its habitat. Human activities also interfere with its living area. For the moment, this feline remains at the status of minor concern on the red list of IUCN.
11 – The giant panda: symbol of the protection of endangered species
Panda, China’s emblematic bear. Credit : Clara Brea
The number of giant pandas is estimated today at 1900 individuals, living mainly in central China. Symbolizing the protection of endangered species remains vulnerable, the giant panda is particularly a victim of climate change.
12 – The Irrawaddy dolphin: endangered
An adorable Irrawaddy dolphin. Credit : Teerayuth Mitrsermsarpe
There are only about 6,000 Irrawaddy dolphins left in the world. Living in large rivers and coastal waters, this dolphin suffers from climate change, pollution and deterioration of its natural environment.
13 – The otter: endangered animal
An otter in the wild. Credit : Cloudtail_the_Snow_Leopard
Although its range covers North Africa, the Old Continent and much of Asia, the otter is now an endangered species, especially in Europe. The lack of food, hunting and the deterioration of its range are to blame.
14 – The hawksbill turtle: threatened with extinction
Hawksbill turtle on a coral reef. Credit : cookma
Theoceansare home to 7 species of sea turtle, including one critically endangered: the hawksbill turtle. Accidental fishing, poaching, diseases and marine pollution are the causes of its decline.
15 – The lion: a threatened king
Lone lion in its natural environment. Credit : Andrew_Deer
Even if it symbolizes Africa and dominates the savannah, the lion is one of the animals threatened with extinction. The current population is only about 23,000 individuals. The causes include human-animal conflict and insufficient prey.
16 – The jaguar: felid in danger
A jaguar lying on a tree in the wild. Credit : Maryna Rayimova
Lord of the Amazon, the jaguar is classified in the list of animals threatened with extinction. There are tens of thousands of them. The deforestationconflict with humans and the actions of poachers threaten its existence.
17 – The gorilla: an endangered hominid
Male silverback gorilla. Credit : ddea
The gorilla lives in the humid forests of Central Africa. The mountain gorilla is an endangered subspecies. Indeed, there are only about 1000 left, due to habitat degradation and disease.
18 – The tiger: a feline in danger
Mother tigress and her cubs in their natural environment. Credit : slowmotiongli
Although found in the Russian Far East and Asia, the tiger is an endangered species. There are barely 4,000 individuals left. This species of feline is a victim of destruction its range, but also poachers, and conflict with humans.
19 – The wolf: minor risk of extinction
Nature scene, a wolf howling in the dark. Credit : Jeff Wodniack
The wolf lives mainly in the north of the old continent and in North America. In Europe, its population is estimated at 17,000 and this canine has almost disappeared in some European countries. Classified as “minor concern” on the IUCN Red List, the wolf suffers above all from the degradation of its natural environment and from conflict with humans.
20 – The monarch butterfly: an endangered insect
Monarch butterfly in nature. Credit : db_beyer
Millions of monarch butterflies die each year during their migratory period. Living mainly in the United States, Mexico and Canada, this species of butterfly is mainly a victim of climate change.
21 – The Madagascar pochard: high risk of extinction
Scaup duck, endangered species. Credit : Alexas_Photos
The Madagascar pochard is one of the rarest duck species in the world. Declared extinct in 1993, it reappeared in 2006 and its population only includes around 114 specimens on the Big Island. This bird is the subject of a conservation program.
22 – The Mantell kiwi: an endangered bird
A kiwi in its natural environment. Credit : Miropa
The kiwi is a wingless bird emblematic of New Zealand. Mantell’s Kiwi subspecies was on the verge of extinction until the end of 2017, but thanks to conservation efforts, the number of specimens has increased. Mantell’s Kiwi is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
23 – The Balearic shearwater: critical threat
A Balearic shearwater in its environment. Credit : Cavan Images
The Balearic shearwater is a sea bird covering a range that surrounds the archipelago of the same name. Benefiting from no conservation measure, it would be forced to disappear, essentially the victim of predators such as the brown rat and the black rat.
24 – The black and white Vari: lemur in danger
Lemur Vari in its natural environment. Credit: 25ehaag6
The black and white Vari is a furry lemur endemic to Madagascar, the island with unique biodiversity. This endangered species is now classified in the red list of theIUCN as a critically endangered species. Indeed, it directly suffers the consequences of deforestation, and is also the subject of poaching.
25 – The northern hairy-nosed wombat: critically endangered
Northern hairy nosed wombat in the wild. Credit : oz flash
The northern hairy-nosed wombat, not to be confused with its southern counterpart, lives in Queensland, in the northeastern part of Australia. With fewer than 250 individuals, this species of wombat is categorized as ” critically endangered by IUCN.