It is estimated that between 200 and 2,000 extinctions of wild creatures become extinct every year. What a tragedy that the world is facing the extinction of many more creatures. Wild and exotic creatures are nearing extinction because of poaching, logging and destruction of forests, severe loss of wetlands, being killed for food, human encroachment into their world, hunting and trapping, illegal wildlife trade, overfishing, pollution, diseases such as malaria and the Ebola virus, global warming, mining, off-road vehicles, getting hit by cars and rapidly decreasing food sources.
The US Endangered Species Act was signed into law in 1973 in order to protect animals in danger of extinction and to conserve habitats. Some organizations dedicated to helping protect endangered species are The Nature Conservatory, World Wildlife Fund, The Natural Resources Defense Council and The Sierra Club. The International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates there are 3079 endangered animals and with 2129 animals on the critical endangered list. Critically endangered animals are species are at an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. Following is a list of some of the critically endangered animals and what you can do to help keep them from becoming extinct.
One of the most endangered wild cats in the world, Iberian lynx, are found in Spain. Habitat loss, starvation, getting caught in fox traps, hunting and trapping, and getting hit by cars are the causes of the loss of the wild cats. There are approximately only 100-150 of these beautiful cats left in the world. To help keep the Iberian lynx from becoming extinct donate to SOS Lynx, a lynx conservation organization. To donate visit http://www.soslynx.org/
The Sumatran tigers are nearing extinction due to poaching and logging and aggressive destruction of forests by Asia Pulp and Paper. Approximately 100 Sumatran tigers live in a preserve that is still illegally poached, killing the tigers. It is believed that only 400 of these beautiful tigers exist. Their closest relatives have all been driven into extinction. To help protect Sumatran tigers do not buy paper products made by Asia Pulp and Paper. You can also adopt a Sumatran through the Sumatran Tiger Trust for approximately seven dollars. To donate visit http://www.tigertrust.info/sumatran_tiger_help.asp
Javan Rhino and the Black Rhino
This large Rhino lives in Java in the Ujung Kulon National Park and in Viet Nam’s Cat Tien Park. The black Rhino is found in African Countries. Both species are nearly extinct due to poaching. The horn of this Rhino is used in traditional Chinese Medicine. It is used to “cure” a variety of sicknesses, and “to expel anxiety and fear, to calm the liver and clear the vision”. One kilogram of the Javan Rhino’s horn can bring $30,000. Its medicinal cures are unproven. Some products are actually made from ground bones of other animals, such as dog bones. There are less than sixty of the Java rhinos left in the world. There are only 60 Black Rhinos living in zoos in North America. None exist in the wild now. You can help the Java Rhino by never purchasing any products said to be made from Java rhino (or any other rhino). There can be danger if consuming ground dog bones. Donations to the International Rhino Foundation can help save the rhinos. To donate visit http://www.rhinos.org/donate
Vaguita are one the rarest marine mammals in the world. They belong to the order Catecea which includes dolphins and porpoises. They live in Mexico’s Gulf of California. 40-80 are killed each year in gill nets. Vaquita is the only porpoise that can live in the warm water of the Gulf of California. There are approximately less than 600 Vaguita left in existence. The World Wildlife Fund in both the U.S. and in Mexico are working together to try to make a marine preserve for Vaquita and to ban the use fishing nets in their habitat. You can donate to The World Wildlife Fund specifically for the Vaquita. Visiting the Gulf of California to look for Vaquita may give the local fisherman an understanding of the Vaquita tourists’ appeal. To donate visit http://www.savethewhales.org/adoptVV.html
The Black-Footed Ferret is North America’s only native ferret. In 1986 there were only 18 ferrets left. The Black-Footed Ferret Conservation Center, an 8 million dollar facility, is in Larimer County, Colorado. This center is part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. There are only three ferret species on earth now. They have been classified as an endangered species since 1967.They have a variety of vocalizations including chuckles, chatter, and barks. They often “dance” when they come above ground. Ferrets are mammals that belong to the Mustelidae family which includes badgers, minx, and wolverines. Native Americans were the first to know about ferrets and many tribes considered them sacred. You can help save the Black-Footed Ferret by a symbolic adoption of a ferret through the Wildlife Adoption and Gift Center. To donate visit http://www.defenders.org/black-footed-ferret/what-you-can-do
One of the most beautiful of tigers, the Siberian Tiger almost became extinct in the 1920’s when there were fewer than 40 of these tigers. Due to government protection there are now approximately 450-500 tigers now but they are still in danger of extinction. The skin, meat, organs, and skeleton of one Siberian Tiger can bring $25,000-$50,000. In St. Petersburg, Russia,Leonardo Dicaprio pledged $1 million dollars of his own money to Vladimir Putin to help ease the plight of the tigers. Dicaprio, along with the World Wildlife Fund, have launched a new public campaign, Save Tigers Now, to call attention to the plight of the tigers. You can help with a gift of any amount to Save Tigers Now. To donate contact https://support.worldwildlife.org/site/Donation2?df_id=4000&4000.donation=form1&s_src=AWE1011GD90T
The saola is one of the rarest mammals in the world. They are found only in the mountains of Laos and Viet Nam and were unknown until 1992 when scientists found their bones in a nature preserve in Viet Nam. They are considered the most spectacular zoological discovery of the 20th century. Saola is also known as the Asian Unicorn. None have survived in captivity. It is believed that only a few hundred exist. To help save saola visit http://www.savethesaola.org/
Other beautiful creatures nearing extinction include Orangutans, Madagascar lemur, the Duke of Burgundy butterfly, Carpathian lynx, Northern Right Whales, the Leatherback Sea Turtle, The Kakapo Parrot, the Hawaiian Monk Seal, the Lowland Gorilla, the Vancouver Island Marmot, the Madagascar Fish Eagle, the Mindoro Dwarf Water Buffalo, the Baiji Dolphin (they may already be extinct), the Siberian Crane, The California Condor, the Saiga Antelope, the Przewalski’s Horse, the Addax, the Red Wolf, and many more beautiful creatures.
We can make a difference and help save these creatures from extinction by contributing to organizations dedicated to saving them, through education and sharing the education to those you know, and through classrooms and classroom projects. For more information about these and other amazing creatures facing extinction please visit the following web sites: