When it comes to extinct animals, we are coming to the point where quite a few of them are on the brink of extinction. Particularly those that are considered endangered species.
The sad reality is, these animals aren’t the average ones that you see at homes or even in zoos.
RAREST Animals That Are Almost EXTINCT!
These beautifully unique animals are now becoming even rarer by getting extinct.
Here are the ones you may have never even heard of:
1. Red Wolf
This gorgeously coated animal is essentially the cousin of the grey wolf and had been declared extinct in the 1980s. Lucky for us, some of them had been in captivity and with the help of Wildlife conservationists their number was increased from 20 to 207 and now there are over 100 that live in the wild. Problem is, the reason why these wolves became extinct still exists that is, they are still being hunted. But wildlife preserves have become more active and provide a safe natural habitat to the ones that have survived getting hunting.
Native to the Tianshan mountain range of the remote Xinjiang area of China, Ili pika is a small mammal that is so rare that there are only about 1000 of them left. Even though this small being was found in 1983, according to CNN about 70% of it has disappeared. This happened because its natural habitat is being destroyed due to climate change and the pikas are going further up the mountain to get away from the rising heat.
Discovered in 1992, Saolas are so rare that they have only been seen 4 times in the wild, as per the reports of WWF. They have two horns, parallel to each other on their heads, along with white markings on their faces. They basically look a lot like antelopes but belong to the cattle family. Often called the Asian unicorn, the saola is a critically endangered species. They mostly live in the forests of Laos and Vietnam, and the reason why they are going extinct is that they are hunted, as well as because their natural habitat is being consumed by humans for urbanization.
Found in 1958, the vaquita is also known as the Gulf of California harbor porpoise and is the smallest cetacean. It is five feet long, has a gray body, with a pale gray or white belly, dark patches around the eyes, and more dark patches create a sort of line from its mouth to its pectoral fins.
As per the reports of International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita, this rarest mammal is fast becoming extinct as only about 60% of them remain. The reason why they are dying so quickly is that they get caught up in nets set by illegal fishing on Mexico’s Gulf of California. Another reason is that they are also being affected by the rapid warming that is taking place due to climate change.
5. Peruvian Black Spider Monkey
The Peruvian Black Spider Monkey or the red-faced Guiana spider monkey, is found in the rainforest of the eastern South America. Believed to be an integral part of the rainforest ecosystem, they play an important role in seed dispersal. As per IUCN their numbers continue to decline and have lowered by 50% in the last 45 years. This is happening because they are hunted, and also because of the destruction of their natural habitats.
Found only in the islands of Southeast Asia, Tarsiers are mostly only present in Borneo. What is distinct about these small primates is that their eyes are the same size as their brains. Also, they are the only primates who are completely carnivorous, or insectivorous. They devour bugs and small animals like snakes, birds, bats and lizards. They have now been given the status of endangered species because according to experts they are impossible to breed in captivity. So there is no chance of increasing their numbers.
Is it a giraffe or a zebra? An Okapi is an animal you may never have heard of, but trust us, they are not fictional! Dating back to ancient Egypt, their carvings can be found in the caves and pyramids. Even in the 20th century European and African tales, there is the ‘African unicorn’, now believed to be the Okapi.
Now, the scientists have labeled Okapi as the distant cousin of the giraffe, which is why it is known as the forest giraffe. Currently only about 10,000-20,000 are known to exist, they are also believed to be going into extinction.
8. Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat
Another very rare mammal that is on the verge of extinction is the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat. Slightly larger than other wombats, this critter is over 39 inches long and is vision impaired. They live in two colonies the Epping Forest in Queensland and the predator-free refuge in St. George. There are only about 130 Northren Hairy-Nosed Wombats in existence.
9. Seychelles Sheath-Tailed Bat
This one unique bat, the Seychelles Sheath-Tailed bat is said to be going extinct because it needs a variety of habitats to be able to breed and grow. According to experts, there are currently only 100 of these bats alive and these exist mostly on Seychelles Islands that lie north of Madagascar. At one time they were present all over the many islands, but are now limited to a small place only.
10. White-rumped vulture
This species of the vulture is said to be one of the fastest disappearing bird species and is labeled to be on a ‘catastrophic decline’ by the IUCN. Since the 1980’s about 99% of its numbers have gone extinct across the Indian subcontinent. This means that only a limited number is left and that too seems to be disappearing rapidly. They mostly die of renal failure that occurs because of diclofenac poisoning. This is why they have been put on the Critically Endangered of the IUCN Red List since 2000.
11. Southeast Asian Javan Rhino
At one point in time, this animal was considered to have become extinct because there were no sightings of it. But then the Javan rhino was seen again and it was pulled out of the extinct races. Still there are only about 60 left at the Ujung Kulon National Park. This type of the rhino comes from Southeast Asia and its horn is worth $30,000. Its hunting has been the reason of its endangerment.
12. Gooty Tarantula
Gooty tarantula also known as the ornamental tree spider, is the only blue spider of its kind. This is why it is also called the gooty sapphire or metallic tarantula. Its natural habitat is in the deciduous forest in Andhra Pardesh, in central southern India. It has been added to the critically endangered list by IUCN becuase its numbers continue to decrease due to deforestation, civil unrest and firewood collection.
13. Hainan Gibbon
The Hainan Gibbon is believed to be the rarest mammal, as well as the world’s rarest ape and primate. According to experts, these gibbons belong to the southern tip of China, where only 25 of them are left. The main reason for its dooming extinction is habitat loss and degradation, hunting and illegal trade. This means that the future of the Hainan Gibbon is extremely uncertain.
14. Yangtze Finless Porpoise
The population of sea creatures is on a rapid decline, but none is more threatened in China than the finless porpoise living in the Yangtze river. There were believed to be 1800 of them some 10 years ago but the number has now reduced to only 500 and that too is declining.
The reason for the disappearance of this porpoise is the industrial pollutants increase that effects their ecosystem. This along with bycatch fishing and boating activities is further harming the life of the creatures living in the Yangtze river. But the problem is not only limited to the finless porpoise but to all the inhabitants of the river.
15. Vancouver Island Marmot
These marmots are native to southwestern Canada and tend to live in small colonies. Even though they mostly spend their time underground to avoid predators, they are seed dispensers and pollinators, which makes them essential to their ecosystem. The sad part is, there has been an 83% decline in their population and according to IUCN, only about 90 mature adults are alive.
The main reason for the rapid deaths of the Vancouver Island Marmot is predators like wolves, cougars, and golden eagles. Changes in climate is also causing their numbers to decline and the future prospects to grow even more grim.
16. Precious Steam-Toad
This tiny creature was named after Lord of the Rings Gollum, hunting for his ring. The Precious Steam-Toad was only discovered very recently in 2016 in Kuala Lampur and according to scientists, exist only on a single mountain, The Titiwangsa Mountain. The only reason humans have made its discovery is because of climate change which forces it to move upland from the forest.
These toads have been put on the vulnerable list by the IUCN due to urbanization and the expansion of entertainment complexes and gambling resorts.
17. The Seneca White Deer
The albino deer, or the Seneca white deer is an extremely rare herd of deer. The reason they are white is that their bodies lack pigment, except for their eyes, which are brown. There are now a total of only 300 left and they are kept protected from poachers and predators alike in the Seneca Army Depot.
18. Amur Leopard
Found in the Russian Far East, the Amur Leopard is also in the endangered list as there are only 84 left as per the WWF. This leopard has a lifespan of 10-15 years and can easily run up to 37 miles per hour. Since it is found in Russia, it has a thick fur to keep it safe from the harsh cold of the region.
19. The Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth
Everyone knows how slow a sloth can be, but the pygmy three-toed sloth is the slowest of them all. It is found only on an island close by Panama. The reason for them going extinct is rapid environmental change. According to experts, only 100 of these sloths are left and they too are dying very quickly.
20. The Rondo Dwarf Galago
Found in the coastal areas of Tanzania, the galago weighs no more than 60 grams and is differentiated by its bottle brush tail, as well as dark, large eyes. They are secluded in the evergreen patches of Tanzania. The major reason for its decreasing numbers is logging. Their population currently falls in the critically endangered species.
21. The Cebu Flowerpecker
As exotic as the name sounds, the Cebu Flowerpecker is even more beautiful upfront with its colorful plumage in the male bird. It was believed to have gone extinct in the 1990’s because of complete loss of its natural habitat but in 1992, it was seen once again. The species has gotten very low in numbers, but is still present in the far islands of Cebu in the Philippines.
22. The Mediterranean Monk Seal
Present since the Greek ages, the monk seal gets its name from the coat that its skin forms, like a brown coat of a monk. During Greek times, it was believed to be a sign of good luck. But in today’s world, the seals have diminished drastically due to their commercial hunting, leaving only a number of 250 seals in the whole world. Thankfully, new laws have been introduced that ban the hunting of the monk seal and this hopefully will up their numbers. But as of yet, they are one of the rarest animals on the planet.
23. The Largetooth Sawfish
The largetooth sawfish is said to grow as large as 6 feet long and is known for its distinguished bill that looks like a chainsaw. It can live up to as long as 30 years. This amazing fish that was once very commonly found in the ocean has now become so critically endangered that the only confirmed sightings in the past 10 years have been in two nations of the Eastern Atlantic. This is how badly their numbers have gone down.
24. Chinese Giant Salamander
The giant Chinese salamander can grow up to about 2 meters long, out of which 60% is its tail length. Hence the addition of giant in its name. It is believed to be one of the only 3 species surviving of the salamanders in the whole world. Native to China, the salamanders are eaten as a favorite delicacy and this, along with water pollution has led to its addition to the list of critically endangered.
Since its number have declined so drastically, the accurate number of salamanders currently alive are unknown, and it has been named as one of the extremely rare species on the planet. If you happen to see one, you are definitely very lucky!
This uniquely beautiful creature is on the brink of extinction because of the way it is hunted for the meat and scales. Their scales are sold in the black market for $3000/kg. They are believed to be the most trafficked animal in the world. Another reason for their disappearance is the loss of their natural habitat due to climate change and urbanization.
26. Chacoan Peccary
The Chacoan peccary resembles the looks of a pig, with its long snout and face, but it is a mammal that also features sharp, coat of bristly fur. For a long while it was believed to have gone extinct, but in the 1970s was rediscovered in Paraguay. This most certainly does not mean that the peccary exists in huge numbers. Rather, it is still believed to be on the brink of extinction because of invasive diseases and loss of its natural habitat.
In 2002, the number of Chacoan peccary was believed to be somewhere around 3200, but this number would have reduced significantly by now due to excessive deforestation and loss of their habitat.
27. The El Rincon Stream Frog
This tiny frog inhabits the remote plateau streams of the Aregntinean Patagonia. The El Rincon needs warm temperature to survive and in order to live in the harsh and below zero temperatures of the plateau, it lives in the thermal-heated springs. Since the animal occupies an area of less than 5 square kilometers, its numbers were already small. But with increasing urbanization and building of dams, the species that have been introduced in the water has made El Rincon stream frog to diminish to the point where it becomes a rare species of the world. Now, this frog is found only on a single plateau in the Argentinian Patagonia.
28. Colombian Dwarf Gecko
The Colombian dwarf gecko is only 2 centimeters in length and could literally sit on the nail of your thumb! What is amazing about this minute creature native to Colombia is that it has been around since the time of the dinosaurs and might have been there when humans and lemurs existed together. Sadly though it seems that the gecko’s time is about to come to an end because it is believed to be mostly extinct. Sightings have been very rare and remote. Like many wonderful creatures of the nature, this tiny being is also about to vanish!
Most variety of the tapirs that are found in the Southeastern Asia, South America and Central America are said to be endangered or vulnerable to poaching. They are also going extinct because of the loss of their natural habitat due to excessive urbanization. What is worse is that tapirs have a very slow reproductive cycle, which makes it even more difficult to preserve their species. They can only have only one baby at a time and the duration of their pregnancies are 13 to 14 months!
This beautiful flightless bird, is known as the owl parrot and is native to New Zealand. It has been listed as critically endangered animal due to its diminishing numbers. Currently there exist less than 150 birds. Even though the conservationists have been trying very hard to keep them going, the kakapo are disappearing rapidly as there reproductive cycle is very slow. They do not produce more than once in every 2-3 years.
The Gharial or the gavial is a crocodile that is native to the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. This fish-eating crocodile is found on the sandy freshwater river banks and is fast disappearing. From 1946 to 2006, the population of the gharial has reduced by over 98%. There are now only 300 of them left, which is why they have been placed on the critically endangered list of the IUCN Red List. Conservationists are trying to preserve their species before they are completely wiped out.
Addax or the white antelope are the type of antelopes that belong to the Sahara desert. They have been put on the list of the critically endangered because according to a report prepared in 2016, only three remain in the region. The main reason for their diminishing numbers is unregulated hunting in the Sahara desert, which is their native habitat. There are still about 2000 Addax kept in zoos and on private farms which is what keeps their species from going extinct. But they are rapidly disappearing from the wild.
A medium-sized marine mammal, the dugong is also known as the sea cow. This adorable creature has been classified as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, because the creature is hunted for its oil and meat. The animal is at a very high risk of extinction if right measures are not taken to conserve it and protect it from vanishing completely.
They may seem like a part of the fairy tale, but narwhals are very real and exist in the arctic environments. Known as the ‘unicorns of the sea’, the narwhal is a medium-sized toothed whale that possesses a large “tusk” from a protruding canine tooth. It has been listed as ‘near threatened’. Even though they are not directly in the list of extinction, they need to be kept safe because of constantly changing the environment.
35. The Bornean Orangutan
The biggest problem with the conservation of the Bornean Orangutans is that the females are only able to produce every 6-8 years. This means that increasing their population becomes difficult. These orangutans are also threatened by illegal hunting, as well as the destruction of their natural habitats. Their numbers have declined by 60% since the 1950’s. There is also an expectation of a further decrease of 22% by the year 2025.
36. Sao Tome Shrew
Another one of the very critically endangered species are the Sao Tome Shrew. They are located only on the Sao Tome Island, it is said to be a shield volcano that comes out of the Atlantic Ocean. With light colored bellies, the Sao Tome shrews are only about 3 inches long and are going extinct because their natural habitat is disappearing dangerously.
These are 36 of the rarest and endangered species on the brink of extinction. It is high time that humans realize the worth of these exotic animals and work hard to preserve them, otherwise, they will disappear like the dinosaurs and the dodo bird, without a trace or a way to bring them back!