11 Wild Animal Species You Never Knew Were Endangered
Just because you see them at the zoo, that doesn’t mean they’re doing alright in the wild.
There are two species of orangutans: Bornean, ones that prefer the ground over the trees, and Sumatran, which have longer facial hair and develop closer bonds with each other. A century ago, their global population was more than 230,000. Now there are about 104,700 Bornean (endangered status), 7,500 Sumatran (critically endangered status), and only 800 Tapanuli orangutans left. But there is still hope because these 12 endangered baby animals are making a comeback in the world!
That’s right, even squirrels are endangered, specifically the Nelson’s antelope ground squirrel. Native to California, particularly San Joaquin, these guys have been disappearing since 1979 on account of the construction and human developments going through their habitat. Their total population is unknown, but it could be anywhere between 124,000 and 413,000.
All six tiger species are endangered, with Sumatran and South China tigers at a critically endangered status. The main reasons for their population decline are poaching and destroyed habitats, as humans clear forests to gather timber and build roadways. Only about 3,890 tigers currently live in the wild. Don’t miss these 15 creepy, crawly animals that are so gross they’ll make your skin crawl!
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources has put giraffes at a vulnerable status, the level just before endangered. The giraffe population has declined a drastic 36 to 40 percent in the last 30 years, primarily due to loss of habitat and poaching. Some giraffes are killed just for their tails, which are considered status symbols in Africa. Make sure you know not to be deceived by one of these adorable animals that are actually pretty dangerous.
Seven hummingbird species are endangered, all found in the Americas, primarily because of deforestation. The chestnut-bellied hummingbird has 600 to 1,700 mature individuals, and there are less than 400 sapphire-bellied hummingbirds left.
Black rhinos are critically endangered, with fewer than 5,000 left in the world. The rest have succumbed primarily to poaching and illegal trading for their horns. Between 1960 and 1995, hunters killed 98 percent of Africa’s black rhinos. But numbers have been steadily increasing thanks to conservation efforts. Here are famous animals you never knew changed history forever.
War hurts more than just humans. Civil unrest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has made bonobos more vulnerable to poachers and continues to destroy their forest homes. It’s unclear how many bonobos there are—probably 15,000-20,000—but scientists believe their population will continue to decline over the next 50 years.
As few as 300 North Atlantic right whales remain in the wild, and the populations among the other four species range between 10,000 and 90,000. Pollution is a major threat for these aquatic giants, but according to the World Wildlife Fund, more than 1,000 whales are killed every year for commercial purposes. Check out these 50 adorable animal photos that will instantly brighten your day.
The main threat to Asian elephants, one of the most intelligent animals, is their shrinking habitat. As the human population grows, people invade their land to build roads and railway tracks. Elephants in Myanmar are at an especially high risk for being captured and traded or used illegally in the tourist industry. It is unknown just how many elephants are left on the entire continent, but experts estimate numbers could be fewer than 50,000. Here are seven animals who will live forever thanks to their impeccable genetics!
Game meat from chimps, called bushmeat, has become a delicacy for wealthy African residents, which makes them a prime target for poaching. Additionally, baby chimpanzees are taken from their natural habitats and sold as pets in nearby cities. Their current population is somewhere between 173,000 and 300,000.
Galápagos Sea lions
Sea lions native to the Galápagos Islands are on the endangered species list. Their main threat is bycatch, which occurs when they are accidentally caught in fishing equipment while commercial fishers are trying to catch other fish. There are only about 9,000 to 10,600 sea lions left and the odds are likely that these numbers will only decrease further more in the future. (Put your hide and seek abilities to the test and see if you can find the animals camouflaged in these photos.)