Endangered species

The 17 Most Endangered Species In The World

Discover the most endangered species including threatened birds, reptiles, and mammals.

There are countless endangered species around the world.  Of course, human actions are the main reason that many animals are going extinct -which is why it's worth noting factors like poaching, the destruction of their natural habitats and global warming, that are all changing the conditions that living beings are forced to endure here on Earth at a rapid pace.

The 17 most endangered species in the world

Below we'll take a look at the case of 17 of the most endangered species that may soon disappear in places like Mexico, China, and the United States.

On this list you'll find endangered mammals like the polar bear  and the black rhino -but, there are also tiny amphibians like the axolotl, which is just important in Mexican culture.

Related: Types Of Ecosystems: 9 Terrestrial And Aquatic Biomes

1. Polar bear

The polar bear is the only super predator that inhabits the Arctic, as well as one of the most noteworthy animals linked to cold climates on the planet.

During the last 5 decades, the polar bear population has decreased by about one third. Although up until recently this decline was mostly due to hunting, in recent years, it has become apparent that ice melting in the Arctic, connected to global warming, that seems irreversible, could cause this species to go extinct.

Polar bear
The polar bear is one rare animal threatened by climate change.

2. Mountain gorilla

The mountain gorilla currently only lives in the Virunga mountains, located in Central Africa, in the Bwindi impenetrable forest, in Uganda.

Currently, it's estimated that less than 900 mountain gorillas are remaining, which makes this species critically endangered. Hunting, habitat destruction, and the spread of disease from humans are the leading causes of this problem.

If you want to learn more about mountain gorillas, check out this Netflix documentary: Virunga

Mountain gorilla
The mountain gorilla is on the official list of endangered species worldwide.

3. Black rhino

Poaching the black rhino is a 'sport for the rich' that became popular due to the risk that comes with facing this animal charging at you when it feels threatened. Black rhino protection programs are having some success, but they are still critically endangered.

The white rhino that also calls the African Savannah home is also 'near threatened' (also due to poaching) according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Black rhino
How many black rhinos are left in the world? Find out on our list of critically endangered species.

4. Bactrian camel

The Bactrian camel is a species native to mountainous regions, in the steppes and the deserts of Central Asia. Unlike the dromedary, this camel has two humps instead of one, it has longer and darker fur, and is generally more robust.

Poaching is the main reason that this animal is a critically endangered species. The hunters usually come from the border towns between the Gobi and China, and since human populations, in general, are expanding. Plus, the consumption of essential natural resources like water and mining or the construction of gas pipelines also affect these mammals.

Bactrian camel
The Bactrian camel is number four on our list of critically endangered species.

5. Sumatran tiger

This tiger species native to this island of Sumatra, Indonesia, is critically endangered due to habitat destruction and poaching. Currently, it is estimated that there are only between 400 and 500 Sumatran tigers left in the world.

Sumatran tiger
Find out how many tigers are left in the world with this list of endangered and threatened species.

6. Bornean and Sumatran orangutans

Bornean and Sumatran orangutans are both listed as critically endangered species in Indonesia, a country experiencing extreme deforestation and other issues that destroy its habitats.

Currently, there are approximately 45,000 Bornean orangutans and just 7,500 Sumantran orangutans, left living in their natural habitats. The illegal sale of their offspring is another worrisome threat that's important to keep in mind.

Borneam and Sumatran orangutans
These endangered mammals are sadly sixth on our list of rare animals.

7. Iberian lynx

Although  in December 2017 the Iberian lynx was taken off of the list of threatened species, this was the most notable Spanish animal to be considered an endangered species since at one point there were only 600 left on the entire Iberian Peninsula -mainly in natural parks in Andalusia and the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha.

The main reason for success, in this case, is due to programs implemented with the goal of decreasing the risk of this animal's extinction, including traffic accidents, poaching, or keeping its habitat (Doñana National Park) from burning -advances made by Spanish ecologist platforms.

Iberian lynx
Iberian lynx is a critically endangered species native to Spain.

8. Axolotl

The axolotl is an amphibian native to the lakes of Mexico valley, known for the appearance of its offspring (that have a characteristic 'smiley face') and due to the striking changes that take place in its body as it matures.

The axolotl's heightened risk of extinction since it's a critically endangered species is mostly due to the contamination of the water that it lives in and because of the introduction of other invasive species that are higher on the food chain than the axolotl.

The Axolotl is an iconic Mexican amphibian that is sadly going extinct.

9. Jaguar


Mexico's most symbolic animal could disappear: although right now the jaguar only on the list of 'nearly threatened' animals, its population is rapidly declining due to severe deforestation in the jungles that it calls home. Over the years, humans have systematically decimated these rainforests.

The jaguar is a near threatened species, also native to Mexico, on our list of the rarest animals.

10. Leatherback turtle

The leatherback turtle is currently the largest sea turtle in the world.  This migratory animal crosses the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and emigrates to nesting grounds on the California coast for nourishment.

Although these animals are extremely widespread, their number has dropped rapidly during the last century as a consequence of egg collection and humans capturing these sea turtles, which is why they are a vulnerable species.

Related: Dinosaurs: Classification And Names

Leatherback turtle
The Leatherback turtle is one of the most endangered reptiles on the planet.

11. Monarch butterfly

The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is known for its four bright orange wings with black veins and white spots around the edges.

This flying insect stands out from other species since it hibernates and undergoes metamorphosis. Adult butterflies only live for up to four or five months, and even though they don't currently count on the endangered species list, the U.S. Center for Biological Diversity submitted a petition asking for the protection of this insect and its habitat.

Monarch butterfly
The Monarch butterfly isn't on the official list of endangered species, but NGOs are fighting to protect its habitat.

12. Vaquita Porpoises

Vaquita porpoises are one of the rarest marine mammals in the world. The state of its population is highly critical since only about 30 of these porpoises are thought to be left on the planet. These animals often get trapped in fishing nets in Mexico's California Gulf.

You can identify this small mammal by the dark ring around its eye and light vertical stripes that cross its body starting at its mouth and ending at its pectoral fins. Vaquita porpoises are usually found close to the coast in the shallow waters of the gulf.

Porpoises are the second marine animal on this list of endangered animals.

13. Purple frog (pig-nose frog)

The purple frog also is known as the pig-nose frog, is a strange amphibian that belongs to the Sooglossidae family that lives in the Western Ghats of India. This frog's body has a robust, bloated shape and its head and snout are small when compared to others of its kind.

This animal spends most of its life underground and only comes out during monsoon season to mate.

Purple frog (pig-nose frog)
This frog, native to India, is number 13 on our list of endangered animals.

14. California condor

The California condor is the only endangered bird on our list -native to North America, this bird of prey is the largest of its kind in this area; its wingspan can reach up to 3 meters when it spreads its wings. Besides, this bird can live up to 60 years.

Although this condor went extinct in the wild in 1987, the species was later reintroduced back into the wild in some areas of the United States.

California condor
The California condor is one of the many endangered birds on the planet.

15. Black-footed ferret

This tiny animal from the Mustelidae family is similar to a mink and size and appearance and differs from other ferrets since it has darker feet and a lighter body, as well as having a considerably shorter tail.

The black-footed ferret is a carnivorous animal that's nocturnal and solitary, except during mating season. It is considered an endangered species because of its small and restricted population, located in the North American prairies. 

Black-footed ferret
The Black-footed ferret is one of the animals going extinct that environmentalists are working to save.

16. Sloth

Slothes are funny mammals characterized by their long claws and slow moving ways. You might not know this, but their slowness is actually an evolutionary adaptation due to their low energy diet and to avoid detection by falcons and feline predators.

These tree-dwelling mammals inhabit the tropical rainforests of Central and South America, with six different subspecies -all on the list of endangered species.

Related: What Is The Fastest Animal In The World?

The sloth is one of many endangered mammals on this list of animals going extinct.

17. Giant Panda

This popular and peaceful creature, considered China's national treasure, resides in the bamboo forests in this region's mountains. Giant pandas are characterized by their thick black and white fur as well as their exceptional ability to climb in spite of their large size.

Unfortunately, the survival of this adorable animal is in grave danger due to habitat restriction. Currently, there are few more than 1,800 of these creatures left.

For more information on endangered species around the world, check out the World Wildlife Foundation's website and Species Directory.

Giant Panda
The Giant Panda is considered a vulnerable species by the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF)

Check out the original article: 15 animales en peligro de extinción (en todo el mundo) at viviendolasalud.com