These 16 animals are on the verge of going extinct and are listed on the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for Nature’s list of “Critically Endangered” species. Read on to learn more about these creatures and to learn how you can help.
First up, the Amur Leopard, listed by the WWF lives in the Russian Far East. It lives in the forest and in the mountains. This leopard can leap 10 feet vertically!
Three rhino species are in trouble, the Javan Rhino, Sumatran Rhino and the Black Rhino. TheBlack Rhino is next on the list. This animal resides inAfrica and is one of two African Rhino species. Black rhino numbers have been dropping rapidly due to hunters and settlers in native habitats. Javan rhinos live in Java, Indonesia and have populations between 58-68. Sumatran rhinos have been dwindling due to habitat loss. Poaching and black market trafficking are a big problem for the three rhino types.
There are three species of orangutans on the list. Bornean, Sumatran and Orangutan have all suffered from habitat loss. Bornean Orangutans and Sumatran Orangutans are in trouble because of habitat destruction. Located in Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Singapore, Malaysia and across Indonesia, these animals are under threat because of deforestation and palm oil demand. Their population has dropped 50% since the 1960s and their habitats have been reduced by 55% since 2000.
The Cross River Gorilla, Eastern Lowland Gorilla and Western Lowland Gorilla are all in trouble. Each listed as “Critically Endangered,” these three species reside in Africa, with western lowland gorilla and eastern lowland gorilla native to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Poaching has been an issue for all three species of gorilla. Scientists have been working to help park staff working in unstable governments. By providing support, WWF helps prevent poaching.
The Yangtze Finless Dolphin is close to going extinct, like its cousin the Baiji dolphin. The Yangtze dolphin lives in the Yangtze River, the longest river in Asia. The Vaquita, another marine mammal is also close to extinction. This porpoise lives in Mexico and is often caught in fishing nets that are placed illegally in the Gulf of California.
The Saolais a relatively new species that was discovered in 1992 and is now critically endangered. It’s only been spotted in the wild four times by scientists. Saolas are native to the mountains in Vietnam and Laos.
Hawksbill turtles are wanted for their beautiful “tortoiseshell” shells that are highly valued in black markets. These turtles live in coral reefs across tropical oceans, playing a crucial role in protecting coral and maintaining ocean ecosystems.
The Sunda Tiger is another Indonesian native that needs help. Now found only in Sumatra, these tigers are also in danger due to poaching and deforestation in the area. Tiger parts and products still find their way on the black market despite strict rules.
You can help these endangered species by working to end poaching and other wildlife crimes. Sign this petition!
This article was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 16 February 2020.
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