The Rarest Animals In The World

Written by Lex Basu
Updated: September 27, 2022
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Over the years, the human race has expanded more and more rapidly leaving a trail of environmental damage in the process. The biggest impacts on our planet are caused by pollution and deforestation, which means the loss of habitat for some of the world’s rarest species.

A deforested stretch of woodland with standing coniferous trees in the background.

Human expansion over the centuries has resulted in deforestation and habitat loss.

©Jason Patrick Ross/

But, at a time when we are becoming more aware of the destruction we have caused and are looking more and more to conserving the world’s habitats, how many of us actually know which animals are our rarest? Here are the 10 rarest animals in the world:

  1. The Pinta Island Tortoise – Native to the Galapagos Islands. There is only one left due to hunting and habitat loss.
  2. The Yangtze River Dolphin – Native to the Yangtze river in China. There are less than 50 in the wild due to hunting and habitat loss.
  3. The Vancouver Island Marmot – Native to the Vancouver mountains. There are only 75 in the wild but captive breeding programmes are under way.
  4. The Seychelles Sheath-tailed Bat – Native to the island of Madagascar. There are less than 100 on the island, but the reason for their demise is uncertain.
  5. The Javan Rhinoceros – Native to Indonesia and Vietnam. There are less than 60 in the wild due to habitat loss.
  6. The Hispid Hare – Native to the Himalayan foothills in Nepal. There are less than 100 in the world due to habitat loss.
  7. The Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat – Native to the tropics of Australia. There are less than 100 left in the wild, due to habitat loss.
  8. The Dwarf Water Buffalo – Native to the Philippines. There are less than 200 in the wild due to hunting and habitat loss.
  9. The Iberian Lynx – Native to the Spanish region of Andalusia. As few as 100 remain in the wild due to habitat loss.
  10. The Red Wolf – Native to the south-east of the USA. Just over 100 are thought to be in the wild today thanks to captive breeding programmes.
A red wolf looks alert in a forest.

The red wolf is native to the southeastern region of the United States.

©Joanna Wu/

All of these animals have been classified as being Critically Endangered, and for many of them, their numbers in the wild are at an all time low. Global deforestation is the primary cause for their demise, something which is being done by us.


Here is a list of rare animals in the world:

RankAnimal Name
1The Pinta Island Tortoise
2The Yangtze River Dolphin
3The Vancouver Island Marmot
4The Seychelles Sheath-tailed Bat
5The Javan Rhinoceros
6The Hispid Hare
7The Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat
8The Dwarf Water Buffalo
9The Iberian Lynx
10The Red Wolf

Next Up…

The photo featured at the top of this post is © evenfh/


  1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2011) Animal, The Definitive Visual Guide To The World's Wildlife
  2. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals
  3. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia
  4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species
  5. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals
  6. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals
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About the Author

Lex is a green-living, tree-hugging, animal-lover, who at one time was the mother to twenty one felines and one doggo. Now she helps pet owners around the globe be the best caretakers for their most trusting companions by sharing her experience and spreading love.

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