There are many species considered in danger of extinction on our planet and, if we had to list them all, an entire site would not be enough.
As history teaches us, life on Earth is not taken for granted, especially that of the many beings who share our same space. The change of one element, the disturbance of others and the invasion of the human species today more than ever it has thrown numerous endangered species.
We already know this and it has happened in the past: man has already made numerous creatures disappear from the face of the Earth. Here are some species that are at greater risk today, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). A body that aims to demonstrate to the world the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of earth’s resources is fair and ecologically sustainable.
Java Rhinoceros – Risk: Critical
Once the most widespread Asian rhino, Javan rhinos are now listed as critically endangered. With only one known population in the wild, it is one of the rarest large mammals in the world. There are only between 58 and 68 of them and none of them live in captivity. Rhinos are often hunted for their horns (particularly in demand in traditional Chinese medicine), although habitat loss, especially due to the Vietnam War, has also contributed to their decline.
The only Javan rhino population is found in Ujung Kulon National Park on the southwestern tip of Java, Indonesia. We are talking about one of the species at greatest risk of extinction among the five rhino species on our planet (not that the others are in good shape, quite the contrary).
Despite all efforts, the prospects for the survival of the species are not the best, since the entire population is relegated to a small area.
Gulf of California Porpoise – Risk: Critical
The Gulf of California porpoise (also called vaquita) is considered the rarest endangered marine mammal in the world. Unfortunately, the future looks bleak for this little porpoise, with only 10 remaining in the wild. Found exclusively in the northern part of the Gulf of California, Mexico, they are fairly easy to spot due to the shallow water they live in – lagoons generally no deeper than 100 feet (can survive in water so shallow that its back protrudes from water).
The population has decreased at an alarming rate in recent years. Fishing nets, chlorinated pesticides, irrigation and inbreeding are just some of the threats that have put the species on the brink of extinction. Climate change is one of the reasons for the disappearance of the species, as it affects the availability of food and the habitat in which they live. These creatures are classified by the IUCN and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora in the most critically endangered category.
Mountain Gorilla – Risk: Endangered
Today it is thought that there are around 1,063 mountain gorillas in the wild and the future appears to be (thankfully!) Brighter for these rare primates ancestral descendants of monkeys and hominoids. Since 1981, the gorilla population has nearly doubled. Until 30 years ago, in fact, experts feared that they would soon become extinct.
Thanks to intense conservation efforts, mountain gorillas have been moved from “critically endangered” to “endangered” on the IUCN Red List in 2018. However, illegal poaching, pollution, habitat deforestation, fragmentation and human-contracted diseases are still threatening their populations.
Younger gorillas can often end up in traps intended for other animals. War and civil unrest have also negatively impacted the gorillas. More than 50% live in the Virunga Mountains, a series of extinct volcanoes bordering the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda, and the rest are located in Uganda’s Bwindi National Park.
Bluefin tuna – Risk: in danger
The number of bluefin tuna has declined at an impressive rate over the past 40 years. The records show a decrease of 72% in the eastern Atlantic and 82% in the west. Overfishing is the main cause of the destruction of this species. They have been heavily targeted for the Japanese fish market, where they are highly sought after for sushi and sashimi (the biggest consumers are the Japanese, who buy around 80% of the Mediterranean tuna). It is also one of the largest fish in the Mediterranean. However, aquaculture is the greatest threat to the species, as tuna are taken from the wild before they are large enough to reproduce.
Leatherback Turtle – Risk: Vulnerable
Sea giants which, in addition to being the largest of all living turtles, can reach up to 250 cm in length and weigh around 400 kg. There are between 26,000 and 43,000 females that nest each year; a drastic drop from an estimated 115,000 in 1980. Young turtles are incredibly vulnerable and unfortunately very few reach adulthood. Birds and small mammals often dig turtle nests to eat eggs. Once they have hatched, the birds and crustaceans collect them before they can reach the sea where fish, squid and octopus prey on them if they can get into the water. The Leatherback turtle is found all over the world but is prone to areas of the tropic.
Globally, the turtle status, according to the IUCN, is listed as vulnerable, but many subpopulations (such as in the Pacific and Southwest Atlantic) they are critically endangered. There were once more than 120,000 adult female leatherback turtles, but today the number has dropped to around 20,000 and continues to decline.
Their distribution is wide; however, the number of these giants has seriously declined over the past century due to intense egg harvesting and by-catches from fishing (around 1,500 mature females were accidentally caught each year in the 1990s). The theft of eggs by humans and illegal hunting are perhaps the two most common reasons for the slow but inexorable disappearance of this species.