Every day, animals become extinct without people talking about them. The main culprits for extinction include loss of habitats and changes in climate patterns. The following list of animals includes some of the most endangered in the world.
The island of Borneo is the only place that’s still home to the Bornean Orangutan. Since it takes six to eight years for females to reproduce, this species fights to naturally increase its numbers. Since 1950, the population has declined by more than 60 percent.
The Ili pika, a rabbit-like mammal, lives in the Chinese Tianshan mountain range. It mainly eats grass and makes its home among the sloping bare rocks. With an estimated population of fewer than 1,000 animals, it is especially close to extinction.
Giant otters only remain in South America. They hunt in groups for fish, their main diet. Since people prey on them for their pelts and eat the same fish, this has brought giant otters to the brink of extinction.
Amur leopards used to live in Korea and China, but now they only reside in Amur River, the Russian region for which they were named. Only less than five dozen of them remain. This makes the Amur leopard the most threatened feline in the cat family.
The population of white-backed vultures has declined at an especially alarming rate. Almost 99 percent of them have died since the 1980s. One of the main culprits is the consumption of diclofenac. Since cattle receive it to control inflammation, the remains of cows contain this pain-relieving substance.
The pangolin is a nocturnal animal that lives in African and Asian grasslands and forests. Poachers hunt these scaly anteaters because they want the scales and meat. The latter is considered a delicacy, especially in Vietnam and southern China. People believe that the scales have medicinal qualities.
The saola is one of the world’s rarest animals and has only been seen a few times. People did not even know about the saola until 1992. Also known as Asian unicorn, this mammal only lives in certain regions of Laos and Vietnam. Many saolas accidentally get caught in wild boar traps. According to estimates, this animal only lives for about five months in the wild, although its natural lifespan is over 15 years.