The beautiful Amur Leopard is one of the top of the most endangered animals on the planet.
Found in the Primorye region of Russia, the Amur leopard is a very rare subspecies of leopard. In 2007 a census counted only 14 to 20 adult Amur Leopards and 5 to 6 cubs. That means the Amur Leopard is one of the most critically endangered animals by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and literally on the edge of extinction.
Want to know what the other 9 endangered animal species are? Read on…
The total Sumatran Rhinoceros population of this critically endangered species is estimated at fewer than 275 individuals. Like other rhinos, this species has been heavily targeted by poachers who want its horns, which pound for pound are currently valued at more than the price of gold.
Western Lowland Gorilla
Surveys since the 1980s suggest that commercial hunting and outbreaks of the Ebola virus are behind the Western Lowland Gorilla species’ plummeting numbers in its native Africa.
Mountain Pygmy Possum
The pygmy possum (mouse) is the only Australian mammal that lives in alpine environments. This small creature has been declining in numbers due to severe fragmentation and destruction of its habitat by various construction projects and ski resorts.
The Philippine crocodile is a comparatively small crocodile that lives in freshwater. Male Philippine crocodiles usually don’t grow more than around 10 feet (3 metres) long, with the females being even smaller. The crocodile’s natural habitat of lakes, ponds and marshes, has been widely converted into rice paddies, adding to the decline of this species. This retile has also suffered from hunting and destructive fishing methods involving the use of dynamite, according to IUCN.
A Sumatran Orangutan baby with mum and dad, poses for a family portrait! Native to Sumatra, Indonesia, Sumatran Orangutans are mainly tree dwellers; a lifestyle that’s led to their decline as Sumatra’s forests increasingly fall to deforestation. Numbers of this great ape have reduced by 80 percent over the last 75 years, with scientists estimating that there are only about 7,300 left in the wild.
Northern Bald Ibis
The Northern Bald Ibis was thought extinct until it was found again in 2002 in the Syrian Desert. Hunting and habitat disturbance are believed to be the main reasons for the bird’s decline in its Middle Eastern habitat. According to Turkish legend, the Northern Bald Ibis was one of the first birds released from Noah’s Ark, as a symbol of fertility.
Black-Eyed Tree Frog
Unlike its more common cousin the Red-Eyed Tree Frog, the critically endangered Black-Eyed Tree Frog belongs to a species that scientists predict will decline by more than 80 percent over the next 10 years. Native to Mexico and parts of South America, this amphibian is under threat from habitat destruction and the Chytrid fungus, an infectious disease decimating amphibians around the globe.
Lord Howe Island Stick Insect
The Lord Howe Island stick insect, which can grow to be as big as your hand, was thought to have become extinct around 1920 after rats were introduced to Lord Howe Island, which is located between Australia and New Zealand. In 2001, however, the species was rediscovered on Ball’s Pyramid, a rocky outcrop located about 15 miles from Lord Howe Island. It’s hoped that a breeding program at Melbourne Zoo can bring the species back from the brink of extinction.
Scientists estimate that only 300 White Antelope remain in the wild. Ththe population of this critically endangered species has plummeted due to hunting, drought, and even pressure from tourism. Once widespread throughout large swaths of Africa, it is now found only in Nigeria.