5 Critically Endangered Mammals on the Endangered Species List
We continue to talk about how our actions affect the environment and how that then affects us, but it also takes a toll on the surrounding animals. Many have died because of people’s actions, putting them on the endangered species list. These animals benefit their environment, whether it be population control of other species or spreading plant seeds. The following mammals are critically endangered, meaning that their risk of extinction is extremely high in the foreseeable future. Many scientists, national parks, and countless others strive to keep these animals safe and help their population to grow.
This species of leopard lives in Russian Far East and is often called the Far East leopard or the Korean leopard. There are more than 84 adults, with 19 cubs sighted as well. This is an improvement over the years; the 2000 census counted 30 leopards, and the 2015 census counted 70. The Amur leopard has fallen prey to poaching for their fur, but the Land of the Leopard National Park has been protecting their numbers.
Black rhinos, the smaller of the two African species, have a hooked upper lip to help them feed on bushes and trees. They used to have large numbers, then dipped precariously low between 1965 and 1990. There were less than 2,500 then, but now there are about 5,000 or more. There is still work to be done to regain the numbers they once had. They continue to be poached for their two horns, and disease and inbreeding are also a problem.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Bornean orangutans number over 104,000, but the subspecies Northwest Bornean are only 1,500 in number. They are victims of logging and hunting, leaving their habitat small and fragmented. The species’ numbers have dropped over 50 percent in the last 60 years, and their habitat has dropped 55 percent in only 20 years. Not only has logging affected them, but the selling of their young. Bornean orangutans have a low reproductive rate as well, making it a slow process to increase their numbers.
Cross River Gorilla
Cross River gorillas are extremely hard to come by, so scientists have been unable to thoroughly study and count them. Based on indirect signs and nest counts, they believe there are only 200 or 300 of this species. Logging and clearing land for farming and livestock have reduced their habitat, and illegal hunting has lowered their population.
Eastern Lowland Gorilla
Eastern Lowland gorillas are found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but civil unrest in the country has prevented a count, leaving their numbers unknown. There were almost 17,000 eastern lowland gorillas in the 1990’s, but scientists believe their population has declined by over 50 percent since then. The Kahuzi-Biega National Park, where the largest portion of the gorillas live, protects them, but poachers sometimes manage to get in and harm them.
How You Can Help Endangered Mammals
Though most of you cannot physically go and protect these endangered animals and the benefits they have on the environment, you can spread awareness and make a donation. The World Wildlife Fund even offers an adopt-an-animal package, and each purchase comes with a plush, a species information card, and an adoption certificate. You can also find ways to support your local wildlife here.
Image Source: Pixabay