Endangered Species

Updated: September 23, 2022
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Endangered species are at a very high risk of becoming extinct in the wild or extinct. In the most recent iteration of the list the IUCN identifies 5,766 species as endangered. For the IUCN to add a species to the category it must meet any of the following criteria:

Population Reduction

  • A taxon’s population size is reduced by 70 percent or more over 10 years or three generations, whichever is longer, and the reduction causes are understood, reversible, and have stopped. For example, let’s pretend there is a bird species that traditionally had a population of 2000. Over 10 years, it drops to 600 because a logging company demolished its habitat. If laws are put in place that bar the logging company from continuing to fell trees in the area, then the IUCN will list it as “endangered” because the reason for the decline is understood and ceased.
  • A taxon’s population size is reduced by 50 percent or more over 10 years or three generations, whichever is longer, but the reduction cause may not be understood or reversible. For example, let’s say there is a bird species that traditionally had a population size of 2000. Over 10 years, it drops to 1000. However, scientists can’t figure out why they’re dying off. In this case, the IUCN would list it as “critically endangered” because the decimation is evident, but scientists can’t figure out why.
  • A taxon’s population size is reduced by 50 percent or more over 10 years or three generations, whichever is longer, and the animal is also battling habitat shrinkage or another threat.

Geographic Reduction

The area where a species can live is reduced to 5,000 square kilometers or less, or the area that the species currently and actually occupies is reduced to 500 square kilometers, and at least two of the following criteria are also true:

  • The population is known to exist in only one location.
  • Scientists observe or predict that the habitat will continue to shrink or be degraded, and there’s also a decline in subpopulations or the number of reproducing adults.
  • Scientists observe extreme fluctuations in the number of locations, subpopulations, or the number of reproducing adults.

Dangerously Low Number of Adults

  • A taxon’s population only has 2,500 or fewer adults left, and a 20 percent decline is anticipated within three years or one generation, whichever is longer. If no subpopulation of the taxon contains more than 250 adults, or 95 percent of the species’ adults live in one subpopulation, it will qualify as critically endangered
  • Scientists observe extreme fluctuations in the number of mature adults in a given population.

Expected Rapid Decline

Research and studies indicate that there is a 20 percent or greater chance that the species will be extinct in the wild within 20 years or five generations, whichever is longer.

Endangered Species

A African Elephant
African Elephant

Both male and female African elephants have tusks. In Asian elephants, only the males have tusks.

A African Forest Elephant
African Forest Elephant

Have large rounded ears to help keep them cool!

A African Grey Parrot
African Grey Parrot

When a grey parrot named Yosuke got lost, it was reunited with its owner after giving the owner's name and address.

A African Penguin
African Penguin

The only penguin species in Africa!

A African Wild Dog
African Wild Dog

Also known as the painted dog!

A Agouti

The agouti is one of the only animals that can crack open Brazil nut pods!

A Amberjack

Amberjack can grow up to 200 pounds

A American Eel
American Eel

Don't eat raw eel! Their blood is poisonous to humans when consumed raw.

A Armadillo

Can curl into a hard, protective ball!

A Asian Arowana
Asian Arowana

The male Asian arowana raises the eggs in its mouth

A Asian Elephant
Asian Elephant

Domesticated for hundreds of years!

A Asiatic Black Bear
Asiatic Black Bear

Known to eat 160 different tree-borne fruits in Thailand!

A Atlantic Sturgeon
Atlantic Sturgeon

Atlantic Sturgeon often leap out of the water.

A Axolotl

Found only in one complex of lakes!

A Aye-aye

Thought to be extinct until 1957!

A Babirusa

The babirusa is the only mammal with vertically growing canine teeth!

A Bactrian Camel
Bactrian Camel

The camel with two humps!

A Bamboo Shark
Bamboo Shark

Can reproduce asexually

A Bandicoot

Bandicoot Many species are endangered or extinct!

A Bear

There are 8 different species!

A Bengal Tiger
Bengal Tiger

The most numerous species of tiger!

A Black-Footed Ferret
Black-Footed Ferret

Black footed ferrets are the only ones native to North America.

A Blacknose Shark
Blacknose Shark

When threatened, Blacknose sharks raise their head, arch their back, and lower their pectoral fins.

A Blue Whale
Blue Whale

The largest animal on Earth

A Bluefin Tuna
Bluefin Tuna

The bluefin is one of the largest fish in the world

A Bonobo

Shares 97% of the same DNA as humans!

A Brown Bear
Brown Bear

A dominant predator in it's environment!

A Brown Snake
Brown Snake

Causes the most snake bite deaths in Australia!

A Butterfly Fish
Butterfly Fish

There are more than 100 different species!

A Capuchin

Named after Capuchin friars.

A Caribbean Reef Shark
Caribbean Reef Shark

These sharks are a big part of ecotoursim in the Caribbean.

A Chimpanzee

Has 32 teeth including fang-like canines!

A Chinchilla

Natively found in the Andes Mountain range!

A Cobras

Several medicines have been created using cobra venom.

A Coral Snake
Coral Snake

There are over 80 species of coral snake worldwide.

A Crayfish

Female crayfish aren't that maternal; they have to secrete a form of pheromone, referred to as maternal pheromones, that encourages them to take care of their offspring and prevents them from eating their young.

A Crocodylomorph

Crocodylomorphs include extinct ancient species as well as 26 living species today.

A Darwin’s fox
Darwin’s fox

It’s not a “true fox.”

A Deer Mouse
Deer Mouse

Roughly 60 different species of deer mice range from Canada to Central America!

A Dhole

Only 2,000 left in the wild!

A Diminutive Woodrat
Diminutive Woodrat

The presence of a Nelsonia tail in a tree indicates that these woodrats may be arboreal at times.

A Dorking Chicken
Dorking Chicken

They are docile birds, so do not mix them with dominant breeds like Cornish chickens and Old English Game.; otherwise, they will quickly fall to the bottom of the pecking order.

A Dusky Shark
Dusky Shark

The Dusky Shark sometimes eats trash discarded by humans.

A Dwarf Boa
Dwarf Boa

Some species can change color from dark to light, and back again.

A Eagle Ray
Eagle Ray

Majestic underwater bird like fish

A Earless Monitor Lizard
Earless Monitor Lizard

These lizards can practically shut down their metabolism and appear comatose for long periods.

A Eastern Lowland Gorilla
Eastern Lowland Gorilla

Less than 5,000 in the wild!

A Eel

Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!

A Egyptian Vulture
Egyptian Vulture

They steal large ostrich eggs and use rocks and pebbles to crack the shells.

A Fin Whale
Fin Whale

Found throughout ocean waters worldwide!

A Finch

Finches have strong, conical bills that help them break open tough seeds that many other birds cannot.

A Fishing Cat
Fishing Cat

Scoops fish out of the water using it's paw!

A Florida Panther
Florida Panther

Florida panthers can leap more than 4.5 meters (15 feet) in the air.

A Flounder Fish
Flounder Fish

There are around 240 different species of Flounder fish

A Fossa

Most closely related to the Mongoose!

A Galapagos Penguin
Galapagos Penguin

Found around the Equator!

A Garter Snake
Garter Snake

Female garter snakes give birth to live young rather than laying eggs!

A German Pinscher
German Pinscher

Highly intelligent and fast learners!

A Giant Golden Mole
Giant Golden Mole

The giant golden mole is able to sense vibrations through the earth because of the giant bone structure in its inner ear that works in conjunction with a bony plate which surrounds the skull.

A Giraffe

Long, black tongue can grow to 18 inches long!

A Goby Fish
Goby Fish

Some Goby species are toxic.

A Golden-Crowned Flying Fox
Golden-Crowned Flying Fox

They eat figs almost exclusively

A Golden Lion Tamarin
Golden Lion Tamarin

Native to the eastern rainforests of Brazil!

A Golden Mole
Golden Mole

The golden mole is so named because of its iridescent coat, which gives it a shining, rainbow-like effect.

A Goliath Frog
Goliath Frog

Does not have a vocal sac.

A Ground Squirrel
Ground Squirrel

Ground squirrels are adept excavators and can dig colonial burrows larger than football fields!

A Halibut

The word "halibut" is comes from haly meaning "holy" and butte meaning flat fish due to its popularity on Catholic holy days.

A Hawaiian Monk Seal
Hawaiian Monk Seal

Hawaiian name is "Ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua," meaning "the dog which runs in rough waters.

A Honey Bee
Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!

A Hummingbird

Beat their wings up to 80 times per second!

A Indian Elephant
Indian Elephant

Found throughout south-east Asia!

A Indian Rhinoceros
Indian Rhinoceros

Also known as the one-horned rhino!

A Indochinese Tiger
Indochinese Tiger

Now thought to be extinct in China!

A Indri

The largest species of Lemur!

A Javan Leopard
Javan Leopard

Deathly afraid of water

A Kagu

The endangered kagu is the only bird in the world with nasal corns!

A Kakapo

The heaviest species of parrot in the world!

A Kangaroo Rat
Kangaroo Rat

Merriam’s kangaroo rats literally never have to drink water

A Kea

This lovable pest may come to you asking for food or attempting to steal your belongings! They are named for their loud vocalizations, “kee-aaa!”

A Kermode Bear (Spirit Bear)
Kermode Bear (Spirit Bear)

The cubs are usually weaned after 6 to 8 months; however, they will remain with their mothers through their second winter until they reach 17 months old.

A Key Deer
Key Deer

Bucks grow new antlers every year.

A Khao Manee
Khao Manee

The Khao Manee is one of the rarest cat breeds in the world.

A Lappet-faced Vulture
Lappet-faced Vulture

Lappet-faced vultures are tidy and wash their heads in a body of water after they’ve eaten

A Little Brown Bat
Little Brown Bat

The little brown bat uses echolocation to quickly navigate around its environment

A Lungfish

The lungfish first evolved almost 400 million years ago.

A Macaw

The largest species of parrot in the world!

A Mackenzie Valley Wolf
Mackenzie Valley Wolf

Will travel up to 70 miles in a single day.

A Madagascar Jacana
Madagascar Jacana

The Madagascar jacana is endangered due to habitat loss and illegal hunting.

A Malayan Tiger
Malayan Tiger

Found in less-dense jungles!

A Manatee

Also known as the Sea Cow!

A Markhor

The markhor drools a foamy substance after chewing its cud, which the local people use for extracting snake poison.

A Mexican Alligator Lizard
Mexican Alligator Lizard

Mexican alligator lizards shed their skin like snakes.

A Mexican Fireleg Tarantula
Mexican Fireleg Tarantula

Mexican fireleg tarantulas have bright reddish-orange legs.

A Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly

During migration, Monarch Butterflies may travel 250 or more miles each day.

A Mongoose

Range in size from just 1 to 3 foot!

A Mountain Gorilla
Mountain Gorilla

Isolated populations found in the mountains!

A Mouse-Deer (Chevrotain)
Mouse-Deer (Chevrotain)

Tiny hooved creature that looks like a cross between a mouse and a miniature deer

A Nabarlek

Nabarleks have teeth like a shark, with new molars continuously emerging from the back.

A Numbat

There are less than 1,000 left in the wild!

A Nuthatch

Nuthatches spend a lot of their time upside down.

A Onager

An onager's coat changes color with the season.

A Pangolin

Bad eyesight, but great sense of smell

A Parrot

Can live for up to 100 years!

A Pig-Nosed Turtle
Pig-Nosed Turtle

Their family lineage dates back 140 million years

A Amazon River Dolphin (Pink Dolphin)
Amazon River Dolphin (Pink Dolphin)

Also known as the 'Pink Dolphin'

A Pit Viper
Pit Viper

Pit vipers's fangs fold up into their mouths when they don't need them.

A Platinum Arowana
Platinum Arowana

The male broods the eggs and baby fish in his mouth.

A Plymouth Rock Chicken
Plymouth Rock Chicken

Plymouth Rock hens have a calm and friendly nature. They usually get along with flock mates and will shy away from confrontation or disputes.

A Proboscis Monkey
Proboscis Monkey

Natively found on the island of Borneo!

A Pygmy Hippopotamus
Pygmy Hippopotamus

Spends more time on land than in water!

A Python

Female pythons lay eggs and defend them until they hatch.

A Red Panda
Red Panda

There are less than 3,000 left in the wild!

A Rhinoceros

It's horns are made from keratin!

A Rim Rock Crowned Snake
Rim Rock Crowned Snake

Rim rock crowned snakes made news in 2022 when a hiker discovered one of these rare snakes had died while attempting to swallow a centipede!

A Rodents

The capybara, the world’s largest rodent, likes to be in and around bodies of water. Because of this, the Catholic Church in South America decided that it was a fish, and people were allowed to eat it during Lent and First Fridays.

A Savu Python
Savu Python

Before ball pythons' morphs became popular, Savu pythons were everywhere in the pet trade.

A Sea Otter
Sea Otter

Eats over 40 different marine species!

A Sea Turtle
Sea Turtle

Always return to the same beach to lay eggs!

A Seahorse

Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

A Sei Whale
Sei Whale

This whale is one of the fastest of the cetaceans

A Shark

No shark species has any bones in their bodies

A Shortfin Mako Shark
Shortfin Mako Shark

Shortfin Mako sharks can jump 20 feet above the water!”

A Siberian Tiger
Siberian Tiger

Also known as the Amur tiger!

A Sloth

It's body temperature is between 30 - 34 degrees!

A South China Tiger
South China Tiger

There are less than 20 in the wild!

A Spectacled Bear
Spectacled Bear

Native to the Andes mountains of South America!

A Spider Monkey
Spider Monkey

Belongs to the only family of primates in the world with full prehensile tails!

A Spiny Hill Turtle
Spiny Hill Turtle

The shell serves as both a defense and camouflage!

A Sri Lankan Elephant
Sri Lankan Elephant

Now restricted to a few parks!

A Stag Beetle
Stag Beetle

The stag beetle consumes rotting and decaying wood when it is in the larva stage.

A Steelhead Salmon
Steelhead Salmon

Steelhead live in freshwater rivers and streams for 1 to 2 years before migrating into the ocean

A Stromatolite

Stromatolites played a key role in the development of life on Earth.

A Sumatran Tiger
Sumatran Tiger

The smallest species of tiger!

A Swai Fish
Swai Fish

The edges of an iridescent shark's fins have a signature glow

A Tamarin

These tiny yet intelligent monkeys often give birth to fraternal twins.

A Tapir

Most closely related to horses and rhinos!

A Tarantula

More than 1000 species of tarantulas have been identified all around the world!

A Tarsier

Each eye weighs more than their whole brain!

A Tiger

The largest feline in the world!

A Tiger Beetle
Tiger Beetle

The adult tiger beetle is one of the fastest land insects in the world

A Tortoise

Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

A Turaco

Their name means “banana-eater,” but they rarely ever eat bananas.

A Viper

Vipers are one of the most widespread groups of snakes and inhabit most

A Volcano Snail
Volcano Snail

The volcano snail lives comfortably in temperatures of up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit.

A Vulture

There are 30 different species worldwide!

A Water Buffalo
Water Buffalo

Has been domesticated for thousands of years!

A Weaver Bird
Weaver Bird

The weaver constructs an elaborate nest for the breeding season

A Welsh Black Cattle
Welsh Black Cattle

Welsh Black Cattle were once used as currency in Wales and referred to as “black gold”.

A White Tiger
White Tiger

None have been seen in the wild for 50 years!

A Whooping Crane
Whooping Crane

This species is named after the loud whooping sound it makes

A Wildebeest

Can trek more than 1,000 miles every year!

A Wolffish

The wolffish has impressive canines with a powerful bite force!

A Wombat

Spends most of the day underground!

A Wood Turtle
Wood Turtle

Temperature determines the sex of turtle eggs

A Yellow-Eyed Penguin
Yellow-Eyed Penguin

The rarest species of penguin!

A Zebra

Stripe patterns are unique to each individual!

A Zebra Pleco
Zebra Pleco

The zebra pleco is a bottom feeder with a sucker mouth.

Endangered Species List

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