There’s no doubt that there are a list of animals that are on the brink of extinction. This has happened from the beginning of time, and it’s good to keep these animals in our minds and hearts and do what we can to prolong or save these species if we can. It isn’t always possible to save these species, sometimes it’s just a matter of time. At times, there is a chance to save these species from extinction however.
Today, we’ll be covering the top 10 animal species that are on the brink of extinction. These are the most endangered animals on the planet.
The Top 10 Most Endangered Animals on Earth
- Javan Rhinocerous: This rhinocerous is endangered and there are approximately 60 of these left on planet earth. They weigh anywhere from 2,000 – 5,000 pounds. A massive animal with a big footprint. They have been confirmed to one park on the southwestern tip of an island in Indonesia called Java. Other Rhino species are also endangered as well, but this species of Rhinocerous is the most endangered of the bunch.
- Vaquita: The vaquita is a marine mammal that is small and wasn’t actually discovered until the 1950’s. This species is limited to the gulf of the northern end of the gulf of California. Learn more about them in this video:
- Mountain Gorilla: The mountain gorilla has always been in a challenging position as it has been hunted, diseased, in the wrong place at the wrong time or worse.. multiple of these challenges at the same time. Their numbers have plummeted massively over time. Thankfully, their numbers went from ‘critically endangered’ to ‘endangered as their numbers have improved! These gorillas are mostly in Africa in Rwanda, Uganda, the Congo and the Central African Republic.
- Tigers: There are 3 subspecies of tigers that are all endangered. The Indochinese, Bengal and Malayan. Some of these species are endangered while others are listed as ‘critically endangered’ species. The best thing that can be done is to reduce tiger human conflict. What concerns me is that there are MORE Tigers in captivity in the United States than there are in the wild worldwide. Think about that fact, and let it settle in! Thanks Tiger King.
- Asian Elephants: These Asian elephants are massive. Weighing in at 4,000 Kilograms as the males, and weighing in at 2,7000 kilograms as the female. These beasts of nature are strong, big and powerful. It’s population has declined 50% in the last 75 years alone. There are estimated to be 20,000 to 40,000 elephants left in the wild. Asian elephants and their parts are prohibited from trading. The biggest threat to their population is their Ivory trade, their tusks. There’s a big market for it.In Thailand, which contains about 33% of the worlds elephant population are held in captivity.They are also found in places in Africa such as Kenya, and in other parts of the world like Sri Lanka.
- Orangutans: Orangutans have had a sharp population decline as a whole. Areas such as protective national parks and wildlife sanctuaries protect these animals in their natural habitat. Cutting of forests really harms them as they hang out in the trees!
- Leatherback Sea Turtles: These turtles are unique in that they are actually named after their shell. Believe it or not, they are the largest sea turtle as well as one of the strongest migration turtles. They cross both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans!The endangered species act in 1970 made them endangered. They are threatened by egg collection and fishing mostly. They are in Costa Rica, Australia, Indonesia, Hawaii and Malaysia.
- Snow Leopards: There are an estimated 4,000 – 6,5000 snow leopards left in the wild. It is tough to know the exact amount of this species is left however. They have a ‘vulnerable’s status with the IUCN.
It is difficult to track them because snow leopards live in the mountainous regions of India, central and southern Asia. They spread themselves far and wide and can be found in 12 countries worldwide including but not limited to Mongolia, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Nepal & Bhutan.
- Irrawaddy Dolphins:
The irrawaddy dolphin is unique in that it is quite versatile. It can actually transfer between saltwater and freshwater giving it more range to cover more bodies of water. They have a different beak and head than regular dolphins, which gives them some distinction. It is believed that in a 118 mile river-stretch in Cambodia just 92 of these dolphins are left.Their presence is crucial to the local health of freshwater ecosystems as well as the management of freshwater resources. Losing them could be a devastating loss to freshwater resources in these areas. The most important thing here is sustainable fishing practices and no fishing zones that these dolphins inhabit.
10. Atlantic Bluefin Tuna:
The populations of bluefin tuna have suffered massively because of illegal fishing practices such as overfishing or simply fishing where it is not allowed. Bluefin tuna isn’t the only Tuna species that is effected by this however. All species of Tuna are effected by this. Population of this species has lowered mainly due to a large demand coming from the sushi market.
Bluefin tuna is only 1% of the entire tuna market but is now critically endangered. Methods for tuna catching have become more effective over the years, not allowing conservation efforts to keep up and to mitigate these challenges.
Scientists believe that the decline of bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean sea has led to an increase in the squid population which has led to negatively effecting the sardine population. Messing up the ecosystem at large.
Geographically these fish are in the Mediterranean sea, the North Atlantic, Ecuador, Norway, all the way to the Black Sea.. and Mexico! They get around.