Animal hunting and the spreading of civilization have been an issue since time immemorial. Decrease in the number of several species and extinction of many others has been the outcome of reckless modernization. Many species are yet to be extinct but are on the verge. They are termed as “Endangered species”, the word “Endangered” means close to extinction. There are innumerable species in this list, but below are the 10 most endangered animals of world.
Giant Panda(Ailuropoda melanoleuca)
Probably the cutest animal on the planet is one of the most endangered species. Pandas have got admiration from toys to martial art styles.
Their number is still counted. There are several reasons for this decrease:
- Reckless Predation
- Their food habits. Bamboo dies after its life cycle ends
Tiger (Panthera tigris)
The royalty of the jungle, all the six remaining species of Tigers are at stake.
The reasons being
- Slash-and-burn agriculture
- Human encroachment,
- Poaching—for trophies and body parts used in Asian “medicine”.
These reasons primarily destroy the herbivore population that the Tigers depend on as food.
Fewer than four thousand are remaining. In 2014, China strictly banned the use of critically endangered species. This includes tigers, whose bones, other parts are superstitiously believed to contain mystic medical energies.
Whooping Crane (Grus americana)
In 1938, a survey conveyed that only 29 whooping cranes were alive. It was reduced to 16 three years later. The reason being hunting and occupation of wetlands. Efforts for its conservation didn’t start till the 1960s.
By the virtue of innovative breeding programs encouraged by the endangered species act, presently 400 cranes are present.
Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
Among the animals that are going extinct, blue whales are also a part of. With multiple species, they used to travel the oceans all over. The present population is estimated to have been decreased by up to ninety percent by hunting in the 20th century. Hunting of whales for marketing was finally restricted in 1966. Convention of international trade was checked thereafter and efforts to conserve the largest mammal on Earth were taken.
Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus)
The IUCN’s best estimate on the present number of Asian tuskers, which live in 13 countries, is approximately 40,000–50,000. That population can be lower in reality. Few places where elephants live are not reachable because of terrain or legal issues.
Over half of this number is living in India. The increasing human numbers make competition for areas and resources. And while the tusks of Asian pachyderms are smaller than Africans, the Asian species are critically endangered species that are hunted for ivory, flesh, and skin.
Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris)
Sea otters (Enhydra lutris), normally live in kelp beds.
The great water repellant cover that keeps sea otters safe from the cold waters that they live in has made it one of the most endangered species.
The species were nearly erased, with merely some 2,000 of an approximate 300,000 remaining by 1911. The reason being the convention of international trade. That year, a worldwide stop on marketed hunting was placed, with the endangered species act. That ban, accompanied by management and safety measures taken in the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act, has aided numbers to replenish, yet they are highly susceptible to natural phenomena such as killer whales as well as mundane accidents such as oil spills.
Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia)
Pre-genetic studies relate Snow leopards to Tigers. However, they are called leopards as they resemble their equatorial species. One of the top ten endangered animals, less than 6,500 are left in the wild. However the far mountain geography opted by the species, and its hiding behavior, it’s hard to collect data.
The biggest concentrations are in China and Mongolia, with good numbers in India and Kyrgyzstan. Its natural foods are blue sheep and ibex. But in few places, it highly relies on domestic species. The farmers who rely on the animals kill the leopards. Hunting still stands as a major problem for the animals. The endangered species act has included these animals under its vigilance.
Gorilla (Gorilla beringei and Gorilla gorilla)
Regardless of multiple species or subspecies, all gorillas are on the endangered species list. There are approximately only about 220,000 remaining in the wild. Habitat destruction and hunting for the flesh, prizes, and mystical talismans have caused substantial destruction. Because their social behavior is so complicated and since their females give birth to only one in every four years —the killing of even a handful number from a gorilla group can have a huge effect on its sustenance.
Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii)
From 1996 to 2008, the number of Tasmanian devils decreased by some 60%. The reason being infectious cancer. It was called the Devil Facial Tumour Disease and still prevails to decrease the populations of the animals. The Tasmanian Devil is one of the animals that are going extinct. These species are only present on the Australian island of Tasmania. There may be approximately 10,000 wild Tasmanian devils remaining.
Captive breeding of immune or individuals that are not infected, has been instilled along with efforts that have been taken up to create a cure for cancer, which is believed to have stemmed from modified cells from a single sample.
Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus)
“Orangutan” means “person of the forest.” in the Malaysian language. Although morphological studies indicate that they may be like the melted Muppets more than humans. Yet their complicated livelihood capabilities are like human habits in a very way. Just like gorillas and chimpanzees, they are quite popularly known to utilize tools. Due to the extension of large areas to logging and restrictions on the convention on international trade, orangutans are limited to the Southeast Asian regions of Borneo and Sumatra. Their numbers are lesser than 60,000 as per a study in 2004. Apart from greater apes, they are normally alone. Sometimes they can be found in troops that consist of members less than three. It makes these species difficult to notice and study.
These were the top 10 most endangered species of world. Yet the list doesn’t end here. Species Balinese Tiger, Javan, and Indonesian Tiger have gone extinct, the remaining six species of it are on the verge of following the same route.
Reckless hunting for marketing of various body parts like bone, skin, etc, destruction of habitats, etc. are some reasons caused by humans resulting in decreasing populations. Apart from these, natural reasons such as diseases, the food cycle, etc. add up to the plight of unwanted human reasons.