As bitter as it may sound, but we humans are the greatest threat to the animals. And we’ve become so ruthless over time that we don’t even care about the endangered species and continue to harm them by destroying their habitats, by hunting and through poaching. Earth is going through its 6th major animal extinction (1), with over 40 percent amphibians and mammals threatened with extinction and we’ve failed to do much about it. To open your eyes, we’ve compiled a list of endangered species of the year 2019 in no particular order.
List Of Endangered Species 2019
Amur leopards are the subspecies of leopards residing in the temperate forests of China and Russia. They are famous for hiding their kills and saving it from predators to eat later. Amur leopard has been in IUCN’s Critically Endangered list since 1997. Hunted excessively for its fur, it’s said that less than 70 Amur leopard exists in the world. Even its habitat has been destroyed for agricultural practices and human settlement. Furthermore, due to the poaching of sika deer and roe deer, even the food source of Amur leopards is dwindling.
African Wild Dog:
Just 3,000 to 5,500 of African Wild Dogs, scientifically known as Lycaon pictus, are believed to be found in the world. These wild dogs, living in packs, are mainly found in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Northern Mozambique and Tanzania (2). The main threats to their lives are a loss of habitats, human interaction and spreading of diseases, such as rabies. What’s shocking is that the farmers poison or shoot the dogs, and justify it by saying that they attacked livestock.
The Hawksbill Turtle and Leatherback Turtle are classified as the most endangered sea turtle species in the world. It’s reported that over the past 100 years, we’ve lost around 90 percent of Hawksbill Turtle popular, with 80% lost in the past ten years. Hence, IUCN classified it as a Critically Endangered species in 1996. The IUCN has classified Leatherback turtle as Vulnerable, but its subpopulations are on the verge of extinction.
The Black-Footed Ferret, native to North America was considered almost extinct in the 1960s. But all thanks to the conservation efforts made by the government, these ferrets have started to make a comeback. Despite all the efforts, there are just 300 Black-Footed Ferrets in the world, which means there is still a long way to go. The main issue for them is the lack of prairie dogs, on whom these ferrets rely for both shelter and food. And when the main source of food starts dwindling, no one can survive.
Just 10 to 50 thousands of these primates, who share 98.7% of their DNA with humans, are left in the world. They are quite similar to the chimpanzee, but are smaller in size and are very peaceful. Their groups are led by females and conflicts are settled with mating. The two biggest threats to these animals are civil unrest and poaching. They are even hunted for their body parts, which are believed to have medicinal properties and of course, food.
Saola, also referred to as the Asian unicorn was discovered in 1992 and was soon after hailed as one of the most spectacular discoveries of the 20th century. It’s large, and beautiful with a horn in the middle of its head. Considering its rarity, IUCN has listed it as a Critically Endangered animal.
There are just 100 vaquitas existing, making it the rarest marine in the world. And scientists have said that it might be completely extinct in the year 2019, but we can only hope that they don’t. http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/vaquita
Black Spider Monkey:
Black Spider Monkey, or Guiana or red-faced spider monkey, native to eastern South America, is the largest primate species of the region. Despite being the largest primate species, they are one of the most endangered animals in the world. They are hunted significantly for their food and their aggressive behavior towards humans. Most importantly, deforestation in the Amazon has led to a great reduction in their habitat.
Out of all three species of Bluefin tuna, (Pacific, Atlantic and Southern), Atlantic Bluefin tunas are the most endangered and coincidently, also the largest. They are fished extensively in the Mediterranean Sea, which is considered the most important tuna fishery in the world.
Who had ever thought that such a tough looking animal can also be subjected to habitat loss and poaching? Not just one or two, but all eight species of Pangolin are considered threatened, ranging from Vulnerable to Endangered. In fact, they are the most smuggled and trafficked animal in the world as their skins are sold for as much as $3,000 per kg (3).
Did you know? We lost approximately 80% of the Sumatran Orangutan’s population in the past 75 years, primarily due to mass deforestation, because of which IUCN had to classify it as a Critically Endangered species. Sadly, mass deforestation continues to harm Sumatran orangutans even today, with just 6,600 remaining.
As surprising as it may sound, but even gorillas, specifically, Mountain Gorillas and Cross River Gorillas, are classified as Endangered and Critically Endangered species by the IUCN since the year 1996. As of 2019, there are just 900 Mountain Gorillas and approximately 300 Cross River Gorillas in the whole world.
Black rhinos, found in the central and eastern Africa were on the brink of extinction in the 20th century, when the British colonists hunted the animal for sport and food. Even today the poachers continue to hunt Black Rhinos for their horns, which is coveted in black markets all over the world. Loss of habitat can also be attributed to their lessening numbers. As of now, just 5000 black rhinos are left in the world. In case you’re wondering about the difference between black and white rhinos, the former has pointed lips while the latter has square lips.
Bengal tigers, found primarily in India, but also spotted in China and Nepal, are also on the list of endangered species 2019. Despite being the most numerous tiger species, just 2,500 of Bengal tigers are found all over the world. They are hunted for their skin and even bones, which are used widely in Asian medicines. Even though the preserves created in India have helped stabilize their numbers greatly, they are still under threat because of extensive poaching in Asia. Habitat destruction and loss of their usual prey can also be attributed to the lessening numbers.
You’d be stunned to know that we’ve lost a staggering 70% of Sumatran elephant population in the last 25 years, all because of human settlements, palm oil plantations, and agriculture. It’s said that less than 2000 Sumatran Elephant now exists in the world and even the IUCN has classified it as a Critically Endangered species.
So these were the list of endangered species 2019 that require our urgent help, conservation, and protection. We hope we will come together to prevent this destruction of the animal kingdom. Because without animals, even we will cease to exist. If there are any more endangered animals of 2019 you would like to add to the list, let us know by commenting below.