The world is forever changing and with that so are the creatures that populate it. With so much going on it is hard to keep track of it all. Hopefully, we find the time and find it in our hearts to at least understand how important all of the world's creatures, big or small, are to us all. Animals on the other are crucial to our existence whether we know it or not. They play a major role on planet earth and we should strive for the preservation and conservation of our great creatures.
Down below you will find a list of Critically Endangered Animals in our World today. In no particular order since it is forever changing as the harsh realities of what we do affect our world and everything in it. Let us hope to become better and strive for a greater world not only for ourselves but for all its inhabitants.
Chinese Giant Salamander- Human consumption of the world's largest amphibian is the leading cause of extinction. Growing to lengths of up to 6 feet, the Giant Salamander is common throughout southern, southwestern, and central China. It lives mainly in streams in heavily forested areas. They are known for laying up to 500 eggs at a time in underwater burrows guarded primarily by the male.
Tigers- With fewer than 3,000 total remaining in the wild, nature's largest cat is barely hanging on. Found mainly in parts of Asia-the last five subspecies: Sumatran, Malayan, Indochinese, Amur, and most popular Bengal and Siberian Tigers are almost gone due to habitat loss and hunting by humans. Tiger bones, skin, eyes, and other body parts used in traditional folk medicines in China and Vietnam is the driving factor for killing these wonderful beasts. Other subspecies of the tiger: South China, Balinese, Javan, and Caspian Tigers are already gone.
Leatherback Sea Turtle- With populations continuing to dwindle, the world's biggest turtle is on the verge of annihilation. Having the largest range of species, and inhabiting all parts of the globe from the tropics to the sub-polar regions. Known for crawling out of the oceans and onto sandy sub-tropical beaches to dig a nest and lay its eggs. Contributing factors due to illegal hunting, nest-habitat loss (due to beach development), erosion of beaches (due to climate change), and theft of its eggs by humans are the leading causes of this giant turtle's problems. In addition to all of this going on. Sea turtles are also found dead after ingesting plastic debris which they confuse for one of their favorite foods- jellyfish.
Saola (Asian Unicorn)- Getting its name from it being so rare and seldom seen the Saola is critically endangered, with no more than a few hundred remaining. Mostly from Laos and Vietnam where it inhabits several isolated areas of tropical forest that stretch across the borders of both countries. Illegal hunting and trapping are the leading causes of these wonderful creatures extinction. Just like the tiger, the Saola's body parts are also used in making Asian folk medicines.
Western Lowland Gorilla- Native to West Africa, these gorillas have about a 100,000 remaining in the wild. Sounds like a lot but populations are said to have dwindled about 80% during the past 25 years and are continuing to decrease over time. Leading causes are from illegal hunting by poachers, habitat loss, and deadly diseases such as the incurable Ebola virus. The Cross River Gorilla, closely related, have a few hundred remaining.
Northern Sportive Lemur- With over a hundred species of lemur, all of which live in the Island of Madagascar, off the southeast coast of Africa, it's difficult to point at which species are more endangered than the other. Due to logging and of course illegal hunting, virtually all of them are declining rapidly. The Sportive Lemur, with fewer than 20 (reportedly) are critically endangered. Living in on a small mountain at the tip of Madagascar, have taken the unlucky crown of being the most endangered of all the species of lemur.
Javan Rhinoceros- One of five rhinoceros species left, the Javan Rhino has an estimated 40-60 animals remaining. Residing mainly on the western tip of the Island of Java (Indonesia) in Ujong Kulon National Park. Just like other animals on this list, the Javan rhino is illegally hunted for its horn, used in Asian folk medicines. Due to it may not having a large enough breeding population. The Javan rhino might not have enough to not go extinct, let alone make it out of the list.
Amur Leopard- This rare subspecies of leopard that lives in the snowy northern forest of Russia's Primorye region, has less than 40 animals remaining today. Illegal hunting, global climate change, habitat loss due to logging, road building and encroaching civilization, are main factors contributing to these wonderful creatures demise.
The Vaquita- Know as the world's smallest and rarest marine mammal, the Vaquita is estimated to have less than 30 remaining today. A tiny porpoise, living in the Gulf of California, often become entangled in illegal gill nets used by fisherman and drown because of it. This beautiful mammal was only discovered in the 1950s and not much is know about them. It is the most endangered porpoise in the world. You can read more about the Vaquita Marina here!
Northern Right Whale- About 450 still remain in the Atlantic. Hunted to near extinction, the Right Whale got its name in the 19th century. Whalers at the time considered it to be the "right" whale to hunt, because of it being full of valuable whale oil, floated after it was dead, allowing it to be easily handled and processed. Now protected by law but still endangered due to global climate change, ship strikes (go figure), and entanglements in commercial fishing gear, causing them to drown. Global climate change is the main culprit. Warming of the waters, especially in the Gulf of Maine, where the whales reside and feed, have caused krill (tiny, shrimp-like creatures), to disperse. Making it difficult for the whales to find and causing them to starve because of it. The situation has become so alarming causing them to get become one of the many whales on the endangered species list!
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For a full list of endangered and critically endangered species, check out www.worldwildlife.org for more information on these creatures and how you can help.
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