With global warming, environmental pollution, and animal poaching on a rise, the earth is losing the most valuable gifts mother nature has given, wild animals. Everyone has seen or heard the list of endangered animals many times. We read this list, show pity, and forget it, never giving it a serious thought.
These animals are endangered, hunted, smuggled, and now abandoned. Mentioned here are animals that have the smallest chance of survival of all the earth's creatures. Recent studies show that at least 35 different animal species are left with a population of less than 1000.
The title of the world's rarest animal goes to the Pinta Island Tortoise, also known as "Lonesome George". Its botanical name is Geochelone nigra abingdoni. He is the only surviving Galapagos Tortoise, first discovered on December 1, 1971 by American snail biologist Joesph Vagvolgyi. George's age is estimated to be 70-90 years and he enjoys good health. He now lives under the protection of the Charles Darwin research station.
Processes of reproducing more Galapagos tortoises were tried as George was penned with two female tortoises. This mating wasn't successful as the eggs didn't hatch. There is also a reward of USD 10,000 offered to anyone who discovers a Pinta female tortoise. There have also been many suggestions that there are many tortoises like George, but none of them have been accepted.
Rarest Animal Species
Apart from this tortoise, there are many more rare animal species which are on the verge of extinction. Due to man's selfish needs, it has become difficult for these animals to survive in their own homeland.
Baiji (Yangtze River Dolphin)
With only 15-20 remaining, this beautiful mammal is one of the world's rarest animals. An innocent victim of China's mind-boggling economic growth, Baiji is being served as a delicacy in many Chinese houses. One more potential reason for its extinction is the construction of dams and barrages all over China's rivers. Some reports claim that this dolphin is an extinct animal, but animal experts are still hunting for some members to protect them.
The Vancouver Island Marmot
Found in the high mountainous region of Vancouver island in British Columbia, this animal features as one of the most endangered animals in the world. In 1998, its population dropped down to a minimum of 75. This alerted the British government who started a captive breeding program to save this rare animal from entering in the category of extinct. In captivity, there are around 90 Vancouver Island marmots while an estimated 30 are in the wild. The ultimate goal is to make the number reach up to 300 and release them into the wild with protection. 2005 came with success as the number in captivity rose from 90 to 150 and another 44 young ones were born.
One of the rare and beautiful rhino species, there are less than 60 Javan rhinos surviving. They are found only in two locations, Vietnam and Indonesia. They were once spread throughout Asia in large numbers. The numbers saw a decline after the 1930s due to the hunting spree. Rhinoceros are mainly hunted for their horns, which are believed to have medicinal properties. A lot of efforts are being taken for their survival, but it's going to be a tough job as there are only a few left.
One of the most beautiful and endangered cats in the wild, the Iberian lynx stands on the verge of extinction with only a few left. This wild cat was found in abundance over the entire Iberian peninsula, but now, can only be found in Andalusia. This species is threatened by human activities such as afforestation and hunting. It was also killed in a number of road accidents while crossing streets. Facts reveal that their number decreased from 4000 and only 100 were left in the year 2000. However, with the birth of 3 cubs in 2005, hope for future reintroduction of this species is still there.
Tamaraw (Dwarf Water Buffalo)
Mainly found in the island of Mindoro in Philippines, the Tamaraw is the only endemic bovine found in the wild. In the early 1900s, there were an estimated 10,000 Tamaraws found in Mindoro, which was down to 370 in 1987. It was declared an endangered species in 2000 by the World Conservation Union. The current population is estimated around 150, which is enough to put its name on the list of ten most endangered animals. Although protected by law, its illegal hunting and killing continues.
These were some of the rarest animal species found on earth. Some of them could already be extinct, but there are still a few people who care for these beautiful animals. Some other rare animals are the Seychelles Sheath-tailed Bat, Hispid Hare, Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat, Red Wolf, and the Dwarf Blue Sheep. Scientists and activists all around the world are trying their level best to save and protect them from hunters and poachers who practice animal cruelty. Join the struggle by joining an animal support group and make this world a better place to live in.