Animals have gone extinct for a variety of reasons throughout the course of world history. Whether it is due to climate change, over hunting or simply losing out on their food source, there are all sorts of explanations behind why a species might eventually become endangered or even extinct. This is nothing new, but animal groups around the world continue to do their best to preserve these species for as long as possible. With that being said, this is a list of the top 10 most endangered species in the world today. While it is possible for this list to change every year, as different animals are brought back from the endangered list and others could be placed onto the list. Either way, there is always going to be a list of the most endangered species in the world.
10. The Little Dodo Bird
While not the same as the real dodo, which is extinct, the little dodo bird has other names, including the tooth-billed pigeon. It is native to Samoa, a small island chain in the South Pacific. This bird is rather small, at around 12 inches in length, but it is still considered a relative to the original dodo, although that bird went extinct around 400 years ago. This bird appears to be headed that same direction as well as there are only a few hundred little dodo birds left.
9. Chinese Giant Salamander
The Chinese giant salamander is able to grow up to six feet in length, making it the largest amphibian in the world. However, nobody knows how many of these are left, as it has been hunted to near extinction, even though the female lays 500 eggs at a time, which is guarded by the male salamander.
8. Siberian Tiger
The largest feline in the world, this 660 pound tiger lives in Russia’s frozen tundra, although it also lived in China and Korea until climate changes forced the tigers north. The tiger had dropped down to about 40 left in the wild around 1930, but that number has increased to around 500. Illegal hunting has still continues to threaten the remaining tigers though.
7. Leatherback Sea Turtle
Most sea turtles have been on the endangered list, at least at some point within the past several decades. From poachers hoarding eggs to prey making quick meals out of the freshly hatched eggs, picking off baby sea turtles is rather easy, and even sharks killing the full grown turtles is easy as well. In 1982 there were a total of around 115,000 adult female leatherback turtles in the wild, but now this number is around 20,000. This is almost completely due to hunting by poachers and their land being turned into beachfront property.
Also known as the Asian unicorn, this animal is extremely rare and has been on the critically endangered list for decades. There are several hundred of this particular animal left in the wild, which is around the border of Vietnam and Laos. This animal has only been known to exist since 1992, so it is one of the more recent discoveries in terms of large animals. However, illegal hunting has continued to be one of the main reasons this animal is on the list of most endangered species in the world
5. Northern Right Whale
This is the most endangered species in the world when it comes to marine life. The northern right whale has only about 350 left in the wild. The mammal itself calls the coast off of Canada and the eastern United States its home, and while hunting the particular whale is no longer an issue, back in the 19th century, whalers hunted the northern right whale almost to extinction because it floated after being killed, instead of sinking.
4. Northern Sportive Lemur
There are over 100 different species of lemur, all of which are located on the island of Madagascar, which is situated right off of the African coast. However, almost every single one of these species is considered endangered from both deforesting and hunting on the island. The reason the northern sportive lemur is on the list is because there are fewer than 100 of the specific species left in the wild, although it is possible that there are currently less than 20. It can be difficult to know for sure the exact number of the northern sportive lemur left simply because it is an incredibly small animal, weighing less than two pounds.
3. Javan Rhinoceros
The Javan rhinoceros are facing extinction as there is only an estimated 40 to 60 of the animal left living in the wild. These are living in the western region of Indonesia inside of the Ujun Kulon National Park. Another group of the rhinos was recently killed inside of a Vietnam national park by poachers. Before falling onto this list, the animal use to live throughout Southeast Asia, but hunting has caused this animal to appear on the list of most endangered species in the world. This took place because it was believed that the horn of the rhino could cure different illnesses. Even though there are 40 to 60 of the animals left in the wild, the Javan rhino is extremely picky on its mates, which means there might not be a large enough breeding population for the animal to avoid extinction.
2. Amur Leopard
This is an extremely rare leopard that lives in the eastern Russian Primorye area of the country. The animal use to live throughout this region in addition to China and Korea, but as of the most recent count, researches believed there is a total of 14 to 20 adult Amur leopard left in the wild with another five or six cubs. The animal has seen its numbers dwindle due to new constructions built in its habitat and from illegal hunting. Climate change has also played a part in the limited number of Amur leopards left in the wild and is why it is on the list of most endangered species in the world.
1. Ivory Billed Woodpecker
This is an animal that experts are not sure if there are even any left in the world or not. The ivory billed woodpecker lives, or at least use to live, in the Southeastern United States and in Cuba. It is a rather large woodpecker that many thought went extinct for years, but then in 2004, sightings throughout the southeast started to come in. Most likely, there are still several of these left, although it is not currently confirmed. The ivory billed woodpecker has made it onto this list from deforesting by humans in order to develop land and for the large feathers that come from the birds.
Some of these animals do have the capability of making it off of the worlds most endangered species list, but there are others that might simply be too far gone. The siberian tiger has proven that it is possible to increase in numbers, but some animals simply need more matting options than what is available to them in the wild. Without scientific intervention from outside sources in order to ensure mating, many of these species might not survive much longer.