Endangered Animals You Need to Know About

By Brianna Baldwin and Katie Keith

Animals are a vital part of our world, but at the current rate, we won’t have any animals left. From hunters to pollution, there are so many reasons why these animals are dying. Here is a list of the top ten endangered animals internationally.

Top Ten Endangered Animals

  1. Amur Leopard - Less than 70 alive

    1. One of the rarest breeds of cat in the world

    2. Can run up to 37 miles per hour and leap (horizontally) up to 19 feet

    3. Similar markings to those of a cheetah

    4. Most commonly found in the farthest eastern areas of Russia

    5. Only leopard found to be able to survive both extreme cold and extreme heat

  2. Gorillas - Less than 2,000 alive

    1. Share between 95% and 99% of their DNA with humans

    2. Have been known to display a wide range of personalities

    3. Have been found to show compassion for other primates as well as humans

    4. Mostly herbivorous, meaning they eat very little meat

    5. Smart enough to create and use simple tools as well as grasp sign languages and communicate with humans

  3. Sea Turtles (specifically Hawksbill Sea Turtles) - Less than 8,000 alive and less than 1,000 nesting annually

    1. Eat sponges that are toxic and otherwise harmful to most other sea creatures

    2. Can lay up to 200 eggs per season

    3. Have existed for over 100 million years

    4. Shells can be used for jewelry in some countries

    5. Shell products are the most confiscated illegal item reported by Japanese custom officials

  4. Orangutans - Less than 7,000 alive

    1. Like gorillas, they share 96.4% of their DNA with humans

    2. Like gorillas, have shown various personalities

    3. “Orangutans have one of the most prolonged developments of any mammal.”

    4. Have been founding using tools to obtain honey, insects, remove seeds from fruits, etc.

    5. Have been documented to be able to learn over 150 signs in sign language

  5. Sumatran Elephant - Less than 2,000 alive in 2011

    1. Can weigh up to 5 tons

    2. Found only on the island of Sumatra, located in Indonesia

    3. Are herbivores and must eat the equivalence to the weight of two average adult men in plants every day

    4. Habitation loss is thought to be the main reason for population decline

    5. Over 69% of the Sumatran Elephant habitat was lost between 1980 and 2005 due to human development

  6. Saola - no estimates on number living

    1. One of the rarest large mammals to exist

    2. Only discovered in 1992, with only 3 successful photographs taken of them since

    3. Nicknamed “Asian Unicorns” due to rarity and location spotted

    4. Although they share the most DNA with cattle, their appearance most closely resembles that of an antelope

    5. Have been sighted both alone and in small groups and tend to avoid the midday heat

  7. Vaquita - Less than 100 alive

    1. Name means “little cow” in Spanish

    2. Rarest sea mammal in existence

    3. Due to their physical similarities, they are often mistaken for dolphins

    4. Is the smallest cetacean on earth and is a cousin of the blue whale, also known as the largest animal in the world

    5. “The fishing industry, pollution and habitat destruction from the dam built in the Colorado River” are all threats to its survival

  8. Tiger - Less than 500 alive

    1. One third of Tiger species are already extinct

    2. Are able to kill animals up to twice their size

    3. Will hide food in order to eat it later and not waste it

    4. Cubs become fully independent from their mothers by 18 months, or a year and a half of age

    5. They are good swimmers and are one of very few cat species that enjoy using swimming as a method of cooling down their body heat

  9. Rhino (specifically the Black Black Rhinoceros) - Less than 60 Javan Rhinos alive and less than 100 Sumatran Rhinos alive, Overall, less than 3,000 were reported to be alive in 1995

    1. Three different subspecies were declared extinct in 2011

    2. Are vegetarian in nature, including no meat in their diets

    3. Female Black Rhinos typically have their first cub at 7 years old

    4. Have a 15 month gestation period

    5. Male Black Rhinos have been shown to be aggressive and abel to reach 35 miles per hour when charging a threat

  10. Pangolin - Critically endangered, one is taken from the wild every 5 minutes

    1. All eight species are being threatened by extinction

    2. Eat 70 million insects every year

    3. About the size of a small cat

    4. “Like a skunk, pangolins can release a noxious- smelling acid to deter predators.”

    5. Have no teeth and use “stones and keratin spines located inside their stomachs,” to break up the insects they eat

These animals are so important in the natural food chain. Our world is build on the laws of nature, but humans came along and made their own rules. We, as a planet, need to figure out a way to save these animals and save our planet. Nature was here before we were, and it’s time to act like it.