Check out these animals about to go extinct! This top 10 list of endangered species has some of the most rare animals that exist in the world today!
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10. Ocean Quahog
The Ocean Quahog, or Arctica Islandica, is a large bivalve that grows up to ten centimeters tall. Large populations can
be found in the ocean waters around Iceland, but they live buried beneath the sea bed all across the Atlantic Ocean.
They hold the record for being the longest known living creatures on our planet, with one specimen that was caught in
2006 thought to be about 507 years old. This means it would have been born in 1499.
Despite their longevity, the Ocean Quahog has been put on the list of at-risk species of the North-East Atlantic Ocean
because numbers have been plummeting. This has happened due to extensive fishing to send to the USA for the manufacture
of clam chowder soup, increased pollution of the seas by plastic and chemical waste, and the destruction of their
habitats by deep sea dredge fishing.
9. The Vaquita
The Vaquita, a small species of porpoise, was only first discovered in 1958- but today finds itself as being the world’s
rarest marine mammal and on the brink of extinction. They are native to the Gulf of California off the coast of Mexico,
where large numbers used to gather, but numbers have severely fallen because of human activity in the area.
A study in 1997 estimated a population in the region of only 600, but this fell to 100 in a similar survey in 2014 and
most recently, in 2016, the total number is though to be around 30. That’s a population decline of over 92 percent since
1997, and means this glorious creature sadly doesn’t have much time left.
Unlike other animals that are facing extinction because of hunting, the loss of Vaquita’s is mainly as a by-product of
the fishing of an endangered fish called the Totoaba. This large, 300 pound fish is highly sought after for its swim
bladder that is popular in Chinese medicine and, as a result, commands a high price. The gillnets that are used to catch
the Totoaba also traps large numbers of Vaquita and has been the single most destructive factor towards Vaquita numbers.
Despite the Mexican governments attempts to limit the fishing of the Totoaba for this reason, even banning the use of
gillnets in 2015 for two years and setting up wildlife refuges, the porpoise has not been able to recover because there
are still lots of trawlers using the nets illegally.
8. Javan Rhinoceros
Rhinos are one of the more famous animals of the world that are endangered, but rather than the more well-known white
and black Rhinos from Africa, the most at-risk type of the five different species is the Javan Rhinoceros.
They used to be prevalent across south east Asia, but with the last Javan Rhino of Vietnam having been poached in 2010,
the only known remaining ones all live in the Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia. They are very similar in
appearance to the closely related “Greater One-Horned Rhino” and are a dusky grey color with one horn that grows up to
about ten inches long. The loose folds of their skin make them look like they have armor plating, and they are thought
to live for between thirty and forty years.
With only around 60 of these Rhinos left in the wild, and none in captivity, their future survival depends on the
ability of park rangers to protect them from the threat of poachers- who hunt them for their valuable horns that are a
valuable commodity across the region for their supposed medicinal properties.