Eight Endangered Species that Desperately Need our Help

Bornean Orangutan

This population, only found on the small Southeast-Asian island of Borneo, have declined in numbers by 60% since 1950. 

Females only reproduce once every six to eight years and in addition to this, illegal hunting and habitat loss have contributed to their decreasing numbers.

Based on a conclusion from a study conducted by the Scientific American, their numbers are expected to decrease by a further 22% by the year 2025. 

1. They share 97% of the same DNA as humans.

2. Fires scares the Orangutan, and they get confused because of the loss of food that comes with fires. 

3. Logging is another issue, especially because they spend a large proportion of their lives in trees. 

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@oregonzoo (Instagram)

Pika

The Pia is a 7-8 inch long mammal that is native to the Tianshan mountains, found in Xinjiang, China. 

First discovered in 1983 by Conservationist Weidong Li, their numbers have declined by approximately 70% since then, and there are currently under 1000 left! 

Rising temperatures due to climate change have resulted in the animals having to retreat to the mountain tops, which is not their natural habitat. 

1. Pikas are related to, and from the same family as the rabbit. 

2. They are very territorial creatures who live in colonies. 

3. Climate change is one of the most pressing issues for the Pika. Their mechanism to escaping the heat is heading up mountains, which isn’t a viable solution. 

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@stauderphoto (Instagram)

Giant Otter

These are the largest otters in the world and are only found in South America.

Historically they were hunted for their pelts and their numbers continue to decline, because their food source which is fish, are decreasing due to pollution in lake waters. 

Mercury poisoning is another huge factor, as gold mining is popular in areas to which they are found.

1. They are one of the only species of carnivore born with a fur covered nose.

2. They are incredibly social creatures and can often be found in groups socialising, communicating, grooming, hunting and resting. 

3. They learn to swim at approximately two-months-old. 

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@positiv.a (Instagram)

Amur Leopard

There is estimated to be only 60 Amur Leopards currently living in the wild and around 200 in zoos!

This speedy cat is one of the most endangered in the world and can run at speeds up to 37 miles per hour.

It is now extinct in China and the Korean Peninsula and can only be found in the Amur River basin of Eastern Russia. 

1. Their fur can grow up to 7.5cm long in Winter.

2. They live between 10-15 years in the wild and up to 20 in captivity. 

3. Males can weigh anywhere between 32-75kg. 

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@standforearth (Instagram)

Saola

Scientists have only seen, or recorded seeing, the Saola four times since it was discovered in May 1992.

These ‘unicorn’ looking mammals live in the forest areas of Vietnam and Laos, and are threatened by hunting as well as human building/ construction/ development in their natural habitat. 

1. Parts of its body are used as ingredients in ‘folk medicine’.

2. The Saola was the first new mammal discovery in over 50 years! 

3. All information known about the Saola was analysed by capturing 13 species, however they don’t survive well in captivity. They are estimated to live between 8-11 years in the wild. 

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@wwf_deutschland (Instagram)

Pangolin

Pangolins are found in Asian and African forests and grasslands. 

They are victims of wildlife crime because of their meat and scales, which has contributed to their status of being the most trafficked mammal in the world.

Ten thousand are estimated to be captured each year.

1. Their scales are made up of Keratin and make up 20% of their body weight. 

2. When the Pangolin is threatened they curl up in a tight ball which is untouchable to predators. 

3. They consume approximately 20,000 ants a day. 

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@joelsartore (Instagram)

White-rumped vulture

This species is one of the fastest declining species ever recorded.

99% of its population in Indian has declined since the 1980’s.

1. Harsh weather conditions and hunting have caused their population to decrease dramatically. 

2. Majority of these declines occurred within the 1990’s. 

3. Their wingspan can be up to 220cm long!

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@thebirdingsquad (Instagram)

Sumatran Rhinoceros

This specie of Rhinos live in small, isolated areas of Malaysia, Indonesia and possible even Myanmar. 

There are estimated to be no more than 275 left in the world!

This is largely due to poaching, as they are hunted for their horns.

Only two females have reproduced in the last 15 years so the situation is incredibly delicate. 

1. They weigh anywhere between 500-960kg. 

2. The Sumatran Rhino is the closest living relative to the Woolly Rhinos from Europe and Asia that existed during the Ice Age.

3. They are short-sided, hence why they don’t usually attack or retreat from human encounters until it is often too late. 

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@pedaling_against_poaching (Instagram)

Sources

http://www.businessinsider.com/12-rare-animals-that-are-almost-extinct-2016-7/?r=AU&IR=T/#the-bornean-orangutan-1

https://www.orangutan.org.au/about-orangutans/orangutan-facts/

https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/blogs/5-surprising-facts-about-american-pika

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/10/131023-giant-river-otter-animals-science-reddit/

http://www.altaconservation.org/amur-leopard/amur-leopard-factfile/

http://www.softschools.com/facts/animals/saola_facts/273/

https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/saola

http://www.discoverwildlife.com/animals/mammals/9-amazing-pangolin-facts

http://www.oiseaux-birds.com/card-white-rumped-vulture.html

https://www.savetherhino.org/rhino_info/species_of_rhino/sumatran_rhinos/factfile_sumatran_rhino

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