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Which Animals Are Going Extinct & Can We Prevent It

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Whenever the word extinct is mentioned in connection with animals, most people will automatically think of the dinosaurs. However, dozens if not hundreds of animal species have gone extinct over the past few centuries right in front of our eyes. These include the likes of the West African black rhino, the dodo (flightless bird), baiji white dolphin, the passenger pigeon, Tasmanian tiger, and the Pyrenean Ibex, among many others.

It is worth mentioning that the extinction of a species occurs when the environmental conditions become unfavorable for its survival. The process is often gradual and sometimes barely noticeable. It is often surrounded by numerous factors, including climate change, human activity, excessive predation, and the destruction of ecosystems. In most cases, human activities like deforestation for agriculture, urbanization, poaching, and excessive hunting are to blame.

Thankfully, environmental conservation activists and scientists are always on the frontline warning us about the dangers that lurk ahead in the modern day. Most importantly, we can only protect these animals if we know they are endangered and what we can do to protect their existence. In this piece, we shall look at a few animals on the verge of going extinct and how we can prevent it.

The Numbers Are Scary 

When a species’ population is seen to decline anywhere between fifty and seventy percent, it is considered endangered despite its habitat. This is especially if the population of mature adults is lower than 250. While the number of threatened and endangered Wildlife plants and animal species was 16 118 in 2020, this number rose steadily to 16 306 according to the IUCN red list website, probably higher by the time you’re reading this article. This is to say that potentially hundreds of thousands if not millions of animals could be wiped from the face of the earth over the next few years if extreme caution is not taken. 

The Animals Highly Threatened By Extinction 

Of course, many animals are on the red list, but some face a higher risk of extinction. Below are some of the most endangered animal species on the planet. 

1. The Tiger 

Tigers are inarguably among the most beautiful cats in the wild. Of course, the lion is the unbeatable king of the jungle. You will drop a lion quote or two when you need to communicate majesty and power. These beasts are huge, strong, and muscular when fully grown, so anyone can understand why. 

Well, tigers get really big and muscular as well. They are sometimes considered the kings of the jungle in habitats where lions don’t exist. Unfortunately, the tiger is considered an endangered species globally, with the Malayan and Sumatran subspecies being considered critically endangered. The global tiger population is estimated to be just 3,500, including the Siberian, Indochinese, and Bengal subspecies. 

2. The Javan Rhinoceros 

If you have been to a safari or sat in an ecology class, the rhino should come to mind whenever you think about endangered species. These animals have suffered greatly over the past few years at the hands of poachers and the illegal rhino horn trade. Scientifically known as Rhinoceros Sondaicus, the Javan Rhinoceros is considered critically endangered, with only a global population of around 60. 

The black rhino has been listed as an endangered species perhaps for the longest time possible, but their population has been on the rise since the rhino horn trade was illegalised. 

Image Source: Pixabay

3. Giant Panda 

The black and white bear is a darling in the eyes of many. It is disturbing how these pandas have very few (to none) predators, yet their numbers in the wild have dwindled greatly over the past several years. With World Wildlife estimating the giant panda population to be slightly over 1 800, human interference could be blamed for their critically endangered status. 

4. The Mountain Gorilla 

Next on, we have mountain gorillas, which have suffered decades of human conflict, disease, uncontrolled hunting, and habitat loss. Their numbers have dwindled greatly over the years; they were even considered critically endangered before 2008 when their status on the red list of IUCN changed it to “endangered.” These wonderful beasts are more populous in African conservation parks in Rwanda, Uganda, DRC, CAR, and Congo. 

5. Leopards 

Several leopard subspecies are also considered endangered in 2021. The Amur leopard, a rare subspecies endemic in the Russian Far East, is a good example. Another example is the snow leopard, primarily located in the central and southern Asia regions. You can view them responsibly in the Himalayas. Apart from Russia, they are also located in China, Nepal, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, and Mongolia. 

Ways to Prevent Animal Extinction 

A few things can be done to prevent the extinction of endangered species. Some of these include:

  • Protecting and conserving habitats and ecosystems
  • More funding and spreading awareness against poaching
  • Instilling stricter hunting laws
  • Addressing climate change
  • More effort towards environmental protection

Apart from the few listed above, endangered wildlife, they endangered wildlife” many animal species hang in the balance between survival and extinction. How we act today could determine if our future generations will or will not see these animals first-hand. This is not to forget that each animal plays a crucial role in the ecosystem, which means that we shall be protecting humanity by conserving them!

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