From the rarest tigers, monkeys and rhinos … to birds, gorillas, and even koalas … here are 17 Animals That Will Be Extinct By 2050
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This prehistoric-looking animal is said to be the world’s only mammals that is covered in scales. Did you know those scales are made of keratin, just like your fingernails? Pangolins are found in Africa and Asia, and can grow to just under 40 inches long (102 cm). Due to the illegal international trafficking all eight pangolin species are increasingly in danger of extinction. More than 100,000 are captured and killed each year for their meat, their scales, and their for use in traditional medicines. There’s actually a high demand for all their body parts. Although bans have been placed on such trade, the illegal activity still continues. Most sources cite pangolins as being the world’s most illegally trafficked mammal..
#6 Eastern Lowland Gorillas
They’re also known as Grauer’s Gorillas. In a single generation, the population of these animals has fallen from around 17,000 in 1995 to less than 4,000 today. These Great Apes inhabit areas of tropical rainforest in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. They stand over 5 feet tall (1.6 m), and can weigh more than 400 pounds (181 kg). Their sharp drop in population is attributed to factors including prolonged civil war in the DRC and the animals being hunted for food, or bushmeat hunting. Adult gorillas are often slaughtered by networks of poachers who are after baby gorillas because the infants can command high prices in the illegal pet trade.
#5 Javan and Sumatran Rhinos
Of the five extant species of rhino,these are two of the most reclusive. Although it’s smaller than the Indian rhino, The Javan beast can weigh in excess of 5,000 pounds (2,268 kg), making it Indonesia’s second largest animal after the Asian elephant. Once widespread throughout Southeast Asia, it’s now known to exist only in western Java’s Ujung Kulon (you-jung ko-lon) National Park. Less than 100 individuals are thought to remain in the wild. Meanwhile, the Sumatran Rhino is the smallest species weighing about 2,200 pounds (1,000 kg). They once inhabited rainforests and swamps from India to China. Now there are also less than 100 of them left in the wild, and certain populations might already be extinct.
#4 Amur (ah-MOO-r) Leopard
These big cats are set apart from other subspecies by virtue of their fur and limbs. The fur is thick and covered with spots, while their limbs are long and are well-adapted for traveling in deep snow. Deforestation and poaching are among the threats threatening this animal’s population. And as their numbers fall, their gene pool is diminished, which increases the chance of inbreeding. As a result, genetic diversity is lost. Less than 60 individuals are now thought to exist in Russia and China.
#3 Red Wolf
These animals once roamed about the US from Texas to New York. They were regarded as top predators within their historic range of swamps, forests, and coastal prairies. Human hunters wiped out their numbers, and habitat loss was thought to have finished off the animals. In the 1970s they were thought to be extinct in the wild. Even though a population was reintroduced, the red wolf is only estimated to number about 40 individuals today. Those wolves are confined to a sprawling region of North Carolina, where they’re protected by law.
This rare species of porpoise was discovered in 1958 and is native to the northern region of the Gulf of California. Today it’s known as the world’s most endangered marine mammal. In 2014, its estimated population dropped to less than 100 individuals. In 2016, the number was revised downward to about 60 individuals. At last count in 2019 there were less than 25 Vaquitas estimated to live in the wild. Unless further conservation efforts are implemented, it’s expected that the species could go extinct long before 2050. Experts say that the huge drop in population is largely due to the animals being caught and drowned by illegal gillnet fishing.