A 2019 UN report written by the IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) warns of a “dangerous” and “unprecedented” death of nature. The effect? The rate of animals going extinct has skyrocketed across the world.
The report says, over 40% of amphibians and about 33% of corals in reefs face, as well as one-third of existing aquatic animals, are facing extinction. Scientists believe that this may be the 6th mass extinction. But who is to blame? Why is it happening now?
Global warming, overfishing, animal farming, and habitat loss are the major reasons behind the animals going extinct. Here are 24 animals going extinct that are on the top of the list:
The Saola was discovered recently in 1992. The IUCN says the major threat to this critically endangered species is hunting. The mammal is easy prey to hunting dogs.
North Atlantic Right Whale
Less than 400 remains of this species. It faces numerous threats including warmer water and more noise in the oceans. The primary dangers are getting entangled with fishing equipment and getting hit by vessels in the Northern Atlantic seas.
The BBC says that these unique Indian species are clinging desperately to survival. On the Threatened species’ Red List, aquaculture and agriculture are continuing to push it towards extinction.
This species of parrots are unique among the animals going extinct. More than humans, natural causes are decreasing their numbers. This includes diseases, genes, and invasive species.
This species is facing a “critical” situation according to the WWF. Humans are in constant conflict with them, leading to their decrease. Excessive loss of habitat is another primary factor.
It is the ocean mammal that is most endangered. Only 10 remains. The equipment used for catching the totoaba fish, another endangered animal, is leading to the Vaquita’s disappearance as well.
Northern White Rhino And Black Rhino
Poaching still remains a big reason for these animals’ deaths. However, habitat loss has topped the list recently.
The reproduction rate of this species is very slow. So they are quite vulnerable by themselves. However, the major threat is the loss of their habitat due to palm oil plantations.
Cross River Gorilla
Once considered extinct, it is now critically endangered. Animal agriculture, hunting, and habitat loss are the primary threats facing it.
Eastern And Western Lowland Gorilla
Agricultural expansion is the reason behind this species’ diminishing numbers, as well.
The Western species is the number one widespread and numerous gorilla species. Still, gas and oil development, commercial fishing and hunting, and logging practices are pushing it towards extinction.
Hawksbill Sea Turtle
Gill nets, and other such equipment in the fishing industry are the most dangerous threats. Their eggs also face the risk of being harvested. They are also illegally killed for the shells or meat. Run-off fertilizers from farms are also a major threat.
The Javan Rhino only has two habitats remaining, reportedly. As such, it is too tiny for the species to survive long term. Habitats being taken over for development and agriculture are the further threats facing these animals going extinct.
Vancouver Island Marmot
Only 90 are estimated to still be alive. A natural prey to golden eagles and wolves, logging has become an even larger threat to this marmot.
Agriculture poses a major threat to this species of elephants. Its natural habitats in Indonesia are being converted into plantations for palm oil and farmlands. This also leads to conflicts with the human population, resulting in them being poisoned and poached.
The loved and well-known species face threats to the agricultural practice of livestock farming. Trapping and hunting other species also inadvertently causes fatal injuries, many times.
These tigers’ homes, the forests of Sumatra, are being turned into farmlands for agricultural development. Poaching is, furthermore, already affecting these animals going extinct. Settlement and plantations are further reasons.
Similar to several other animals going extinct, its habitat is being cleared for agricultural use as well. Poaching is also high. Its forests are in high demand for durian fruit and palm oil.
Yangtze Finless Porpoise
These animals going extinct are not getting the food it eats. The local fishing industry is the cause of this scarcity. Along with overfishing, ship movement and pollution are major factors behind these animals going extinct.
Pinta Island Tortoise
This is the species we commonly know as the Giant Tortoise. Another species that was believed to have gone extinct, a long-distant relative was discovered in 2020. Invasive species like cats and dogs kill the younglings of this species.
Brazilian Spix’s Macaw
Sadly, this species is currently on the extinct list. Unsustainable logging and agriculture coupled with habitat degradation and loss pushed it to its demise.
Another species considered extinct, livestock ranching and farming have reduced them to the few members in captivity.
Southern Rockhopper Penguin
Fisheries, disease, and invasive species are the major threats facing this vulnerable species.
This Isopod has gone extinct already. Their habitats were destroyed by water management through dams.
Salt Creek Tiger Beetle
An extremely rare insect, farming, creek banks, as well as urbanization have left them facing extinction.
Diseases, dams, poaching, climate change, infrastructure, and development are some of the threats facing these animals.
Red-Crowned Roofed Turtle
Poaching for its meat and eggs, illegal fishing, and sand mining are human activities diminishing their numbers. It is a side-effect of the poverty-stricken local community.
Recent research suggests that there are nearly 8 million animals going extinct. And this is by only 2050. The present rate of extinction is thousands of times more than the natural rate. All experts agree that working towards a better climate would reduce the rate drastically.