15 Animals That May Go Extinct Soon

15 Animals That May Go Extinct Soon

Due to poachers and climate change, the next generation may never get to see a polar bear ruling the Arctic circle, or an elephant roaming the African savannah. We will only be able to tell them about these magnificent animals.

Last year marked the 100th anniversary of the death of the last passenger pigeon called Martha, who died in captivity after her whole species was wiped of the face of the earth. Also late last year, a 44-year old northern white rhinoceros died in captivity at the San Diego Zoo, leaving just four rhinos worldwide, one male who will die soon, and three females. They may also be gone with the wind soon.
Many spices die out everyday and we don't even know it. Experts say this is the 6th mass extinction in Earth's history, 30 to 50% of the world's species are going towards extinction by the mid century, and we are solely to blame.
Poaching, habitat loss and climate change all contribute to entire species dying out. Here are 15 animals that may say goodbye soon, that is...if we can't save them first.

1. Amur Leopard

You may have not known this, but these beautiful big cats are critically endangered. They are the rarest big cats in the world now. Native to Far East Russia and Northern China, their numbers have dwindled due to being sought after for their magnificent spotted coats, and also because they threaten local Asian villages and livestock, so they are killed. They also face habit destruction and the loss of prey animals due to the expanding population. Today, only 30 individuals remain in the wild. However, new census data reveals Amur leopards in Russia’s Land of the Leopard National Park now number at least 57 cats (up from just 30 cats in 2007). And an additional 8-12 leopards were counted in adjacent areas of China. There may be hope for them, but they have a long way to go.

2. Javan Rhinoceros

Even though all the subspecies of rhinoceros are endangered, this is one of the rarest. In the 17th and 18th centuries, they were hunted a lot for their horns, which were used to make Asian medicines and potions. Once, these creatures ruled Indonesia, but today their numbers have declined greatly due to poachers killing them for their horns. Today only 35 individuals remain in Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia, and could soon go in the way of the dodo due to disease, natural disasters and low genetic diversity.

3. Leatherback Sea Turtle

The largest sea turtle in the world, the Leatherback's numbers have declined significantly due to over fishing, egg poaching, habitat loss and human expansion to coastal regions. This continues to disturb their nesting processes. Today, an estimated 34,000 to 36,000 female turtles remain in the wild. That may seem like a lot, but in the 1980s, and estimated 116,000 female turtles existed in the wild.

3. Saiga Antelope

These unique creatures are critically endangered. They used to roam the Eurasian steppe, but due to loss of habitat and excessive hunting, their numbers have declined significantly. Today, only 10,000 to 15,000 remain. Also, they have been dying out rather fast recently due to unknown causes.

4. Northern White Rhinoceros

Then again, all subspecies of rhino are endangered. This species of rhino will die out soon, and they are rarer than the Javan rhinoceros. During colonial times they were hunted for the horn that rests on their snout. Today, due to poaching in Africa, they were driven very close to extinction. None exist in the wild. Only one male called Angalifu is on the planet, and he is protected by body gauds so that he won't be poached. The 3 females were transported from the Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic (which are also the only reproductive animals of this subspecies) were transported to Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, Africa. Also, one female died in the San Diego Zoo in 2014. Only 5 are left on the planet. Their lives are on the line more than ever.

5. Axolotl

These small, strange salamanders reside in North American lakes. Since, 2010, they have a spot on the endangered species list, and a recent 2013 study was unable to uncover any in the wild. Even though none were discovered, an estimated 700 to 1,200 axolotls exist in six reduced and scattered areas within the Xochimilco area of the Mexican Central Valley. They do, however, exist in captivity. Loss of habitat and pollution were the most likely cause of their extinction in the wild.

6. Polar Bear

Yes, unfortunately the big, fluffy bears have a spot on the endangered species list. Global warming , over fishing and climate change has melted the polar ice caps that they reside on. Due to this, an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 remain in the wild. But, this number may be inaccurate because much of the Arctic hasn't been discovered yet. Efforts have been made to preserve the population.

7. Slender Loris

A slender what? These little guys are some of the rarest creatures that exist on the planet today. Since 1937, they have only been spotted four times, and were thought to be extinct. Today they rarely occur in Sri Lanka, but they are killed due to the belief that their body parts can cure leprosy and provide protection from curses. An estimated 100 to 1,500 are left in the wild.

8. Sumatran Elephant

The smallest of the Asian elephants, the Sumatran elephant is threatened due to illegal logging, and their habitats being loss due to palm oil plantations. The human-elephant conflict has also been a big issue, and due to all these factors, their numbers have dwindled by an astonishing 80%. Only 2,400 to 2,800 individual Sumatran elephants remain.

The male elephants grow small tusks, but they are still poached for them and they are sold to the illegal ivory trade market. This skewed the male-to-female ratio, thus making future breeding of them difficult.

9. Mountain Gorilla

Mountain gorillas dwell in the Virunga Mountains that border Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. Poaching, loss of habitat, charcoal production, and the deadly Ebola virus has killed more than 90% of the wild ape population. Today, only about an estimated 880 mountain gorillas are left.

10. Vaquita

Known as the world's rarest marine animal, the vaquita is on the brink of extinction with no more than 100 left in the world.

Native to the upper Gulf of California, one out of every five of them drown from getting caught in nets that are used to catch another endangered marine animal, the totoaba, whose swim bladders are sold illegally for 4,000 dollars a pound. So, while the illegal trade thrives, the vaquita's numbers will keep declining.

11. Siberian Tiger

Also known as the Amur tiger, the beautiful cats are the largest in the world, hunted for traditional Chinese medicine, or for their corpses to be kept as trophies. Mining, forest fires, poor law enforcement, forest destruction and illegal logging will all play a part in their fall, and will further endanger this species. Today, an estimated 300 to 500 individuals exist in the wild.

12. Sumatran Orangutan

Like the Sumatran elephant, these primates are native to Sumatra. Their populations have been decreasing at an astonishing rate due to forest fires, development of oil palm plantations, illegal logging, and other causes. Hunted for food by local tribes or being caught alive to be kept as prizes, they are now critically endangered. Inadequate law enforcement leaves illegal trafficking of them unpunished. Only an estimated 7,300 of them remain in the wild.

13. Greater Bamboo Lemur

Discovered in 1870, it was believed to have become extinct by the early twentieth century. It was rediscovered in 1972. Native to Southern Madagascar, this lemur is the most elusive of all the species of lemur, with only an estimated 60 believed to exist in the dense forests and only 150 in captivity. Climate change, illegal logging, and the downward spiral of bamboo may result in its demise.

14. Saola

Known as the Asian unicorn and only discovered in 1993, their populations are already at risk. Deforestation , reduced genetic diversity, and loss of habitat threatens these elusive creatures. The current population is uncertain, but there are an estimated dozen to a hundred of them in the wild. Soala are hunted in great demand for traditional Chinese medicine in Vietnam and Laos.
In 1993, two of them were caught in Vietnam and were taken to captivity. Both unfortunately died in captivity a few months later. None exist in captivity, so it's hard to keep the population stable.

15. Snub Nosed Monkey

Native to China, the fluffy monkeys were thought to be extinct since the 1980s. Though, they were spotted again, they may really be extinct soon. Deforestation and habitat loss is causing their numbers to decline even more. Today, an estimated only 200 monkeys are left in the world.

This are just a few of the animals that found their way on the endangered list. There are many more that have had their populations dwindled due to human interaction, such as some that were not on the list in the picture above. We've caused their demise, and we can stop it too. Only we can save them from being gone with the wind along with many others before them.

Which animals don't you want to go extinct?

Learn more about endangered species and donate here if you want: World Wildlife Fund


USA Today


endangered species list

RainbowFanGirl is a GirlsAskGuys Editor
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Most Helpful Guy

  • sad to say, but there are many, many more species that are facing extinction. we are currently living through the biggest mass extinction ever known and humans are the major driving cause.

    im an ecologist and through studies I have been a part of, humans are likely to be one of those species to go extinct. We rely so much on the natural world, we are literally tightening the noose around our necks by clearing forests and killing off species left right and center.

    Lets take something as small as a bee for example, we use pesticides world wide, and bee populations are declining, however they actually help to improve crop yield through pollination.

    We hunt whales, to near extinction yet they literally help to combat global warming through trophic cascades. how? well whales boost the numbers of fish and krill by fertilizing the surface waters, increasing the number of plant plankton that lives there.

    the more whales there are, the more plankton there is. the more plankton there is, the more carbon is drawn out of the air. before we reduced their numbers, whales were responsible for removing over 10 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere every year.

    • Yeah, and it's sad really. I'm going to take ecology this year in school. We need these animals for our survival as well. Not to mention that many of them are beautiful. That's why I put the link to donate at the end. Anyways thanks for reading and sorry for the minor typos.

    • Wooow :(

Most Helpful Girl

  • Reading a few days ago that the Javan rhino is declared extinct in Malaysia, and now this, reminds me why I hate humans so much.

    1. Some trophy hunter might possibly manage to shoot the last male rhino in Africa. Oh how I would so love to trophy hunt and decapitate those trophy hunters along with each of their family members... Pieces of dog shit, all of them.
    2. I heard that in order to get one orangutan alive to Europe or america, they have to stick like 10 orangutans in a container. During the journey, they will fight over the limited amount of food and water, so of you're lucky, only one would be alive when then ship docks at destination. And it will be in terrible shape.
    3. People who like to decorate their homes with carcass are not worth more than dog shit. Sick psychopaths.
    4. I wish humans would just go extinct. I wish there were some aliens who would selectively shoot the bad people (yes, that includes poachers and trophy hunters and the likes) with slow burning laser beams, make them feel the searing pain before they vanish like the dog shit they are made of, and then together with the OK people restore planet earth or bring us and the animals to a new beautiful planet

    • I agree with you... All we have done is ruin the earth with our selfishness... I mean, what kind of sick psychopath hunts animals for fun? It's disgusting and needs to be made illegal, and the punishment needs to be more severe to prevent people from doing it illegally. We need to stop this... When we go extinct, maybe the earth can heal.

Join the discussion

What Guys Said 13

  • Thanks a lot for shedding light on this topic :'(

    Northern White Rhinoceros... Go!!! REPRODUCE!!! You. Can. Do. This... BELIEVE. Put some energy. We are with you.

  • Thank you very much for drawing attention to this issue. We humans have got to cultivate a greater sense of wonder and appreciation for the non-human creatures we share this planet with. Only by doing that will we find the will to work to save these endangered species. Great myTake.

  • 1. I learned a lot/loved reading this #MyTake of yours. Since it wasn't the generic relationship/dating kind of take that you'd commonly see here on GAG.

    2. This is why I kinda hate us as humans... we fuck up everything planet-animals alike >_<

  • Actually Polar bears have been coming into the mainland and actually mating with grizzly bears creating a whole new species which can actually reproduce they are called Grolar bears.

    • I knew that already. :) They're still on the endangered species list though. The ice caps have been melting and space for them to come onto the land to mate and other things have been declining in the wild.

    • True but its not to late to save some of these species as well.

      And if science ever advanced far enough well be able to resurrect entire species. Not that I am pinning my hope on it but its a nice thought.

  • 16. Humans.

  • I hope that at least some of the animals which are endangered are kept in zoos, so the specie will still remain alive, but in zoos only. Hopefully later when they have enough animals of 1 specie in the zoo, they can release them into the wild again.

    Do you think that will happen? I actually hope so, because it feels like the only option left.

    • I hope so too. It will be so sad if all these animals die out. I hope they can catch more Saolas. They're beautiful.

    • I'm really a fan of monkeys. Human-like monkeys, like the mountain gorilla and the orangutang.

      Do you honestly think they will catch the animals and bring them to zoo to let them out in wild later? I think so

    • I just want reassurance for animals :)

  • Earth is a tiny unimportant rock in a massive universe with more unimportant crap. Who cares if a bunch of dumb animals die.

    • Take away one factor from an ecosystem and another factor will suffer. And so on and so forth.

      When dodo birds went extinct, a type of tree stopped being able to be replanted as it relied on the dodo bird to eat the seed then crap it out to grow. This then caused problems for any animal who might have used that particular type of tree as a nesting place or food source.

      If you take away koalas then you will upset the balance of eucalyptus trees.

      Take away a predator in any ecosystem and it's prey will begin to overpopulate, and as a result any plants the prey munches on will become scarce, lessening the food source for the prey, and in turn, due to the overpopulation, kill it off through starvation.

      Take away that prey and there goes on of our food sources.

      Everything is connected. If you upset the balance then that's it. Until it's righted everything will be off kilter. Everytime an animal goes extinct it matters. Because it will lessen the survival chances of another species.

    • They're important to the ecosystem and if they die out they could cause havoc on the environment. Also, if you don't care then please don't comment.

    • If they die the humans will eventually follow with them! No animals mean no people either, humans are animals too!

  • This makes me so sad and misanthropic. I just wish humans weren't such greedy little children.

  • I hate earth a lot quite often

  • I'm ashamed to be human to be honest, after all were responsible!

  • Who said polar bears need icebergs to survive?

    • They're not fish. They need land to mate on and to rest on.

    • Polar bears can swim for miles on end before getting fatigued. Ice bergs aren't land. There's lots of misconceptions and lies being spread. And polar bears are far more resultant than what the media wants you to believe

  • what an amzing animals it would be very sad if they will extinct!

  • This is so sad that we a civilization choose not to live in harmony with animals that we are taking territory from and instead to allow them to die off without a second thought. These animals are a part of our ecosystem and keeping everything in balance. It saddens me so much when people freak out when an animal shows up in their neighborhood or backyard. I personally love seeing nature no matter if on my property or neighborhood.

    • Yeah, then they call the police so they can shoot them or whatever. It's sad, and when I found out leopards were endangered I was really sad.

What Girls Said 11

  • What a sad, sad fact. Your Take was very informative. Look at that ridiculously adorable Saiga Antelope! I just want to pet him and take him home with me! ♥

    Here's some good news.. wwf.panda.org/.../

    Though a lot of work needs to be done, about half the animals on your list are coming back and thriving including that beautiful Siberian Tiger. :)

  • I don't want any animals to be endangered or extinct. Sometimes I wish they were like on Zoo to show those poachers a lesson!. However, as sad as hunted animals situation is, A large majority of poachers (such as Africa) hunt to make money for their families. So as a result of bad government and anarchy these animals pays a price for it.
    Also another contributing factors, besides logging and limited jobs' opportunities, of course... global warming. I don't think political parties and general population just realize how bad global warming is, and don't do enough or found scientific methods and stricter laws to cut down gas emissions and mining to restore Earth-basically. I would like to think Earth is the greatest survivor in thousands of years to come, not turning into a fiery ball of hell.
    Good take by the way :D

  • I cried when I read this. It is so sad how many of our fellow species die because of us. In my country Ethiopia we have an Ibex species called the Walya. There are only 500 of them left in our mountains. We also have an animal called the salla (I don't know its English name). It is a very graceful beast who unfortunately doesn't have much stamina. Some crackpot faith healer in America is telling cancer patients that the salla's meat will cure them. They come here and pay thousands of dollars to hunt it. The tour guides chase and kill it with their cars for the tourists. The penalty for illegal hunting here is death or life in prison. I recently broke ties with a friend of mine because he told me he does that for extra money. I wanted to stab him for his greed. It was all I could do to keep myself from reporting him to the police. smh

    • He is a heavy drinker and pays prostitutes. All the money he gets from poaching besides the significant amount he earns from his other businesses goes into that. Oooooooooooffffff! I am really pissed now.

    • That is so sad. These beautiful animals don't need to die because of our selfishness.

  • What the hell!! I have seen documentaries on most of them. Poor animals...

  • This depresses me. Damn us horrible humans for kill them off. :'(


    I hate the world sometimes...

  • Fuck pouchers. They need to get aids and die horrible deaths.

  • This breaks my heart. We humans destroy everything. These animals deserve to live and be able to live in peace.

  • That's just sad :( </3

  • Nice take, as always :)
    I should donate..

  • Who cares, more than 99 percent of all species that ever lived on Earth are estimated to be extinct. A few more won't hurt.

    • I care. Every animal contributes to the ecosystem, and if they die out then it will throw it out of balance. You know how there's a lot of deer in the northern US? Well that's because there's not enough wolves to balance out the population. Now there's an unnecessary amount of deer. The same thing may happen if all the Tigers and polar bears die out.

    • Yes but they went extinct through natural events. These are going extinct because of people alone so we should care it's what we did so we should take responsibility!