Wild animals are disappearing every day around the world. While in the past, natural disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes are the primary causes of animal extinction, human is the main culprit in few past centuries. The expansion of human activities has caused pollution, deteriorating the natural environment. Along with overhunting and overfishing, wiping out forests to make room for farming leads to habitat destruction, pushing many species to the edge of extinction.
An enormous number of species have died out since human society developed and thrived. However, most people are unaware of that because they don’t have opportunities to expose to various kinds of wild animals. Today, when every individual has a lot of things on their plate, they may easily forget about other species and the importance of a diverse ecosystem.
Let’s spend some minutes enjoying the fascinating nature by looking at the 18 endangered unusual animals below!
The rhinoceros population has declined so quickly that all branches of the family are in danger, with the Javan and Sumatran being critically endangered. These creatures are the victims of illegal poaching of horns, so now they are protected animals.
#2 Javan Rhinoceros
No individual of this rhinoceros subspecies could be found in Vietnam, meaning that more protective methods should be applied to save them. Numerous efforts have been devoted to protecting this large animal from hunting down to extinction. Currently, there are about 60 individuals in the park in Java, Indonesia.
Source: Dhruvaraj S
#3 Peruvian Spider Monkey
This animal, also known as the black-faced spider monkey, comes from Peru, Brazil, and Bolivia. Since 2014, many programs and projects have been launched to raise the population of this threatened species.
With a unique and unusual appearance, these mammals are given the catchy title “The Asian Unicorn”. Scientists only discovered this species recently, but its population has dropped so quickly that it is one of the most endangered animals in the world.
#5 White Rumped Vulture
Although its abundant population in the 1990s predicted nothing about extinction, this native animal of South and Southeast Asia was categorized as critically endangered since 2000.
Source: Lip Kee
Though 8 subspecies of pangolin are all under the threat of extinction, Manis is the most critically endangered. This scaly animal needs more conservation efforts to survive through this era.
#7 Black-Footed Ferret
According to statistics, only about 300 individuals of this adorable ferret are left on the planet. Due to its limited population, myriad efforts to save this animal are to no avail.
Source: USFWS Mountain-Prairie
#8 Darwin’s Fox
This species, named after Charles Darwin, is one of the smallest foxes. Currently, only about 250 foxes live on Chloe island, and another 70 individuals reside on the mainland, which is an alarming statistic.
Source: Fernando Bórquez Bórquez
#9 Giant Otter
Besides the cute small otters we often see, there is Giant Otter that we hardly know about. This 5-feet animal in South America is one of the species in danger of extinction.
Source: Bernard DUPONT
#10 Sumatran Rhinoceros
These hairy rhinoceroses are often hunted for good, so they are kept in captivity for the purpose of breeding. However, breeding programs are unsuccessful for the captive individuals, so they are introduced back into nature.
#11 Bornean Orangutan
The overall number of orangutans has reduced by 50% over a few decades. Sadly, the Bornean mammals are at the highest risk of extinction.
Source: Eric Kilby
This cute hamster, a cousin of the rabbit, is often found in mountainous regions of Asia and North America. Some suppose the famous character Pikachu in the Pokemon series was based on this adorable animal, so it is sad to see them struggling to survive.
Source: Shanthanu Bhardwaj
#13 Salt Creek Tiger Beetle
Who could think beetles could be in the group of endangered species? However, it is true that the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle, native to the US, is facing many serious threats. Fortunately, its population has recovered thanks to preservation efforts.
Source: Joel Sartore
#14 Spix’s Macaw
Today, this colorful Brazillian bird can only be seen in zoos. Their habitats have been destroyed due to deforestation, but let’s hope conservation methods can bring them back to nature.
Source: Creative Commons, AngieToh
This special member of the porpoise family lives around the Atlantic coast of the US and Canada. This mammal is the target of many fishing ships and hunters. It is estimated that only 350 individuals remain in the ocean at this moment, so hunting cases must be prevented as soon as possible.
Source: Public Domain U.S, Paula Olson
#16 Mountain Gorilla
The aggressive mountain gorilla is often hunted as many believe it poses a threat to people. With only about 300 individuals left on the planet, this species is categorized as critically endangered.
Source: Rod Waddington
#17 Amur Leopard
This Russian subspecies of leopards is gorgeous with its brilliant markings and spots. However, its beauty attracts hunters and poachers, leading to a significant decrease in its population. The prospect seems so dull when there are only 20 individuals of this unique animal in the world.
Source: CC0 Creative Commons, papaya45
#18 Pinta Island Tortoise
This large turtle was believed to be extinct when the last individual named Lonesome George passed away. Thankfully, a group of young tortoises was found, and scientists determined them as a hybrid of the Pinta Island variety.
Source: Vince Smith, via flckr
These animals have their name listed on the Red List of Threatened Species, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Let’s hope conservation efforts will save them from extinction, and please share this post to raise public awareness of wildlife preservation!