Vulnerable Species

Vulnerable species are at risk of becoming extinct in the wild or extinct. The IUCN currently identifies over 10,000 species as vulnerable. For a species to be considered vulnerable it must meet any of the following criteria:

Population Reduction

  • A taxon’s population size is reduced by 50 percent or more over 10 years or three generations, whichever is longer, and scientists understand that the reduction causes are 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 1000 because a logging company demolished its habitat. If lawmakers establish regulations that bar the logging company from continuing to fell trees in the area, then the IUCN will list the bird species as “endangered” because they understand the reason for the decline, and it is stopped.
  • A taxon’s population size is reduced by 30 percent or more over 10 years or three generations, whichever is longer. However, conservationists don’t understand the reduction cause or know if it is 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 1400. Scientists, however, can’t figure out why they’re dying off. In this case, the IUCN would list it as “endangered” because the decimation is evident, but it can’t figure out why.
  • A taxon’s population size is reduced by 30 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 20,000 square kilometers or less, or the area where it currently and actually occupies is reduced to 2,000 square kilometers, and at least two of the following criteria are also true:

  • The population is not known to exist at more than 10 locations.
  • Scientists observe or predict that the habitat in question 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 10,000 or fewer adults left, and a 10 percent decline is anticipated within 10 years or three generations, whichever is longer. If none of the taxon’s subpopulations contain more than 1,000 adults, or all the adults live in one subpopulation.
  • Scientists observe extreme fluctuations in the number of mature adults in a taxon’s population.

Dangerously Low Overall Population Size

Only 1,000 or fewer individuals of a taxon remain.

A population with a viable but restricted habitat area is vulnerable to human activities within a very short period and thus may become critically endangered or extinct in the near future.

Expected Rapid Decline

Research indicates that there’s a 10 percent or greater chance that the taxon will be extinct in the wild within 100 years

Vulnerable Species

A Aldabra Giant Tortoise
Aldabra Giant Tortoise

One got to be 255 years old!

A Asian Palm Civet
Asian Palm Civet

It mainly eats mangos and coffee!

A Babirusa

Babirusas can stand on their back hooves to eat leaves on the lower branches of a tree.

A Banded Palm Civet
Banded Palm Civet

Markings give it camouflage!

A Bilby

In Australia, the chocolate bilby replaces the chocolate bunny for Easter.

A Binturong

Also known as the Asian Bearcat!

A Box Turtle
Box Turtle

This reptile has an S-shaped neck allowing it to pull its entire head into its shell.

A Burmese Python
Burmese Python

These snakes can swallow their prey as whole.

A Cheetah

The fastest land mammal in the world!

A Clouded Leopard
Clouded Leopard

Has canines that can be two inches long!

A Cockatoo

Highly social, smart, and chatty bird.

A Codfish

They eat other fish

A Coelacanth

The coelacanth first evolved almost 400 million years ago.

A Crested Penguin
Crested Penguin

Has long yellow eyebrows!

A Darwin’s Frog
Darwin’s Frog

Camouflages itself as a dead leaf!

A Desert Rain Frog
Desert Rain Frog

The desert rain frog doesn't hop

A Dwarf Crocodile
Dwarf Crocodile

Digs burrows in river banks to rest!

A Giant Armadillo
Giant Armadillo

Armadillos have a smell that’s described as strong, sweet and acrid.

A Giant Clam
Giant Clam

Can reach nearly 4ft in length!

A Giant Panda Bear
Giant Panda Bear

Bamboo makes up 99 per cent of their diet!

A Golden Masked Owl
Golden Masked Owl

While flying high above this owl can hear a mouse moving in the tall grass of field!

A Great White Shark
Great White Shark

Can grow to more than 8 meters long!

A Greenland Shark
Greenland Shark

This shark has the longest lifespan of any vertebrate.

A Haddock

The haddock is very popular in both recreational and commercial fishing

A Herring

People enjoy the taste of the oily fish in many different ways including pickled, smoked, salted, dried and fermented.

A Hippopotamus

Has pink anti-bacterial sweat!

A Hornbill

The bird has a massive horn on its bill!

A Humboldt Penguin
Humboldt Penguin

Found on the South American coast!

A Ibex

Can jump over 6 feet straight up from a standstill

A Indian Star Tortoise
Indian Star Tortoise

Popular in the exotic pet trade!

A King Cobra
King Cobra

They are the longest poisonous snake in the world.

A Kodkod

The kodkod is among the smallest species of cats in the entire world

A Komodo Dragon
Komodo Dragon

Only found on five Indonesian islands

A Lion

Lives in small groups called prides!

A Malayan Civet
Malayan Civet

Also known as the Oriental Civet!

A Manta Ray
Manta Ray

Can grow up to 9m wide!

A Marine Iguana
Marine Iguana

Adult marine iguanas vary in size depending on the size of the island where they live.

A Paddlefish

Paddlefish have existed since the Cretaceous Period

A Polar Bear
Polar Bear

Could be extinct within the next 30 years!

A Quokka

Makes runways through the long grasses!

A Royal Penguin
Royal Penguin

Can reach speeds of 20mph!

A Sand Tiger Shark
Sand Tiger Shark

The sand tiger is the shark most commonly seen in aquariums.

A Shoebill Stork
Shoebill Stork

Adults greet each other by clattering their bills together.

A Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard

Unlike other big cats, snow leopards don’t roar.

A Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

One of the largest owl species in the world!

A Sperm Whale
Sperm Whale

Each tooth weighs 1kg!

A Spinner Shark
Spinner Shark

Can have up to 20 babies

A Spiny Dogfish
Spiny Dogfish

Found in ocean waters worldwide!

A Sulcata Tortoise
Sulcata Tortoise

Some cultures in Africa believe the sulcata tortoise is an intermediary between the people and their ancestors and gods.

A Sun Bear
Sun Bear

The smallest species of bear in the world!

A Syrian Hamster
Syrian Hamster

Can get used to and respond to human voice

A Tarpon

Its genus dates back to the Cretaceous period – 113 million years ago

A Tree Kangaroo
Tree Kangaroo

It’s the only macropod that lives in trees.

A Uakari

Have a very short tail for their size!

A Umbrellabird

Migrates up and down the mountains!

A Wandering Albatross
Wandering Albatross

Featured in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

Vulnerable Species List