Endangered Species

Endangered species are at a very high risk of becoming extinct in the wild or extinct. In the most recent iteration of the list the IUCN identifies 5,766 species as endangered. For the IUCN to add a species to the category it must meet any of the following criteria:

Population Reduction

  • A taxon’s population size is reduced by 70 percent or more over 10 years or three generations, whichever is longer, and the reduction causes are understood, reversible, and have stopped. For example, let’s pretend there is a bird species that traditionally had a population of 2000. Over 10 years, it drops to 600 because a logging company demolished its habitat. If laws are put in place that bar the logging company from continuing to fell trees in the area, then the IUCN will list it as “endangered” because the reason for the decline is understood and ceased.
  • A taxon’s population size is reduced by 50 percent or more over 10 years or three generations, whichever is longer, but the reduction cause may not be understood or reversible. For example, let’s say there is a bird species that traditionally had a population size of 2000. Over 10 years, it drops to 1000. However, scientists can’t figure out why they’re dying off. In this case, the IUCN would list it as “critically endangered” because the decimation is evident, but scientists can’t figure out why.
  • A taxon’s population size is reduced by 50 percent or more over 10 years or three generations, whichever is longer, and the animal is also battling habitat shrinkage or another threat.

Geographic Reduction

The area where a species can live is reduced to 5,000 square kilometers or less, or the area that the species currently and actually occupies is reduced to 500 square kilometers, and at least two of the following criteria are also true:

  • The population is known to exist in only one location.
  • Scientists observe or predict that the habitat will continue to shrink or be degraded, and there’s also a decline in subpopulations or the number of reproducing adults.
  • Scientists observe extreme fluctuations in the number of locations, subpopulations, or the number of reproducing adults.

Dangerously Low Number of Adults

  • A taxon’s population only has 2,500 or fewer adults left, and a 20 percent decline is anticipated within three years or one generation, whichever is longer. If no subpopulation of the taxon contains more than 250 adults, or 95 percent of the species’ adults live in one subpopulation, it will qualify as critically endangered
  • Scientists observe extreme fluctuations in the number of mature adults in a given population.

Expected Rapid Decline

Research and studies indicate that there is a 20 percent or greater chance that the species will be extinct in the wild within 20 years or five generations, whichever is longer.

Endangered Species

A African Forest Elephant
African Forest Elephant

Have large rounded ears to help keep them cool!

A African Penguin
African Penguin

The only penguin species in Africa!

A African Wild Dog
African Wild Dog

Also known as the painted dog!

A Armadillo

Can curl into a hard, protective ball!

A Asian Elephant
Asian Elephant

Domesticated for hundreds of years!

A Asiatic Black Bear
Asiatic Black Bear

Known to eat 160 different tree-borne fruits in Thailand!

A Axolotl

Found only in one complex of lakes!

A Aye Aye
Aye Aye

Thought to be extinct until 1957!

A Bactrian Camel
Bactrian Camel

The camel with two humps!

A Bandicoot

Bandicoot Many species are endangered or extinct!

A Bear

There are 8 different species!

A Bengal Tiger
Bengal Tiger

The most numerous species of tiger!

A Black-Footed Ferret
Black-Footed Ferret

Black footed ferrets are the only ones native to North America.

A Blue Whale
Blue Whale

The largest animal on Earth

A Bluefin Tuna
Bluefin Tuna

The bluefin is one of the largest fish in the world

A Bonobo

Shares 97% of the same DNA as humans!

A Brown Bear
Brown Bear

A dominant predator in it's environment!

A Butterfly Fish
Butterfly Fish

There are more than 100 different species!

A Chimpanzee

Has 32 teeth including fang-like canines!

A Chinchilla

Natively found in the Andes Mountain range!

A Dhole

Only 2,000 left in the wild!

A Eastern Lowland Gorilla
Eastern Lowland Gorilla

Less than 5,000 in the wild!

A Eel

Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!

A Fin Whale
Fin Whale

Found throughout ocean waters worldwide!

A Fishing Cat
Fishing Cat

Scoops fish out of the water using it's paw!

A Florida Panther
Florida Panther

Florida panthers can leap more than 4.5 meters (15 feet) in the air.

A Fossa

Most closely related to the Mongoose!

A Galapagos Penguin
Galapagos Penguin

Found around the Equator!

A Galapagos Tortoise
Galapagos Tortoise

The biggest species of tortoise in the world!

A Giraffe

Long, black tongue can grow to 18 inches long!

A Golden-Crowned Flying Fox
Golden-Crowned Flying Fox

They eat figs almost exclusively

A Golden Lion Tamarin
Golden Lion Tamarin

Native to the eastern rainforests of Brazil!

A Goliath Frog
Goliath Frog

Does not have a vocal sac.

A Grizzly Bear
Grizzly Bear

Less than 10% make it into adulthood

A Honey Bee
Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!

A Hummingbird

Beat their wings up to 80 times per second!

A Indian Elephant
Indian Elephant

Found throughout south-east Asia!

A Indian Rhinoceros
Indian Rhinoceros

Also known as the one-horned rhino!

A Indochinese Tiger
Indochinese Tiger

Now thought to be extinct in China!

A Indri

The largest species of Lemur!

A Kakapo

The heaviest species of parrot in the world!

A Kangaroo Rat
Kangaroo Rat

Merriam’s kangaroo rats literally never have to drink water

A Killer Whale
Killer Whale

Typically consumes over 200 kg of food a day!

A Little Brown Bat
Little Brown Bat

The little brown bat uses echolocation to quickly navigate around its environment

A Lungfish

The lungfish first evolved almost 400 million years ago.

A Macaw

The largest species of parrot in the world!

A Malayan Tiger
Malayan Tiger

Found in less-dense jungles!

A Manatee

Also known as the Sea Cow!

A Markhor

Less than 2,500 left in the wild!

A Mexican Alligator Lizard
Mexican Alligator Lizard

Mexican alligator lizards shed their skin like snakes.

A Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly

During migration, Monarch Butterflies may travel 250 or more miles each day.

A Mongoose

Range in size from just 1 to 3 foot!

A Mountain Gorilla
Mountain Gorilla

Isolated populations found in the mountains!

A Numbat

There are less than 1,000 left in the wild!

A Pangolin

Bad eyesight, but great sense of smell

A Parrot

Can live for up to 100 years!

A Amazon River Dolphin (Pink Dolphin)
Amazon River Dolphin (Pink Dolphin)

Also known as the 'Pink Dolphin'

A Proboscis Monkey
Proboscis Monkey

Natively found on the island of Borneo!

A Pygmy Hippopotamus
Pygmy Hippopotamus

Spends more time on land than in water!

A Red Panda
Red Panda

There are less than 3,000 left in the wild!

A Rhinoceros

It's horns are made from keratin!

A Rodents

The capybara, the world’s largest rodent, likes to be in and around bodies of water. Because of this, the Catholic Church in South America decided that it was a fish, and people were allowed to eat it during Lent and First Fridays.

A Sea Otter
Sea Otter

Eats over 40 different marine species!

A Sea Turtle
Sea Turtle

Always return to the same beach to lay eggs!

A Seahorse

Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

A Shark

No shark species has any bones in their bodies

A Siberian Tiger
Siberian Tiger

Also known as the Amur tiger!

A Sloth

It's body temperature is between 30 - 34 degrees!

A South China Tiger
South China Tiger

There are less than 20 in the wild!

A Spectacled Bear
Spectacled Bear

Native to the Andes mountains of South America!

A Sri Lankan Elephant
Sri Lankan Elephant

Now restricted to a few parks!

A Sumatran Tiger
Sumatran Tiger

The smallest species of tiger!

A Swai Fish
Swai Fish

The edges of an iridescent shark's fins have a signature glow

A Tapir

Most closely related to horses and rhinos!

A Tarsier

Each eye weighs more than their whole brain!

A Tiger

The largest feline in the world!

A Tortoise

Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

A Vulture

There are 30 different species worldwide!

A Water Buffalo
Water Buffalo

Has been domesticated for thousands of years!

A White Tiger
White Tiger

None have been seen in the wild for 50 years!

A Whooping Crane
Whooping Crane

This species is named after the loud whooping sound it makes

A Wildebeest

Can trek more than 1,000 miles every year!

A Wolffish

The wolffish has impressive canines with a powerful bite force!

A Wombat

Spends most of the day underground!

A Yellow-Eyed Penguin
Yellow-Eyed Penguin

The rarest species of penguin!

A Zebra

Stripe patterns are unique to each individual!

Endangered Species List