It’s always depressing to read about what animals are close to the brink of extinction. But it’s also important to be educated about these creatures because if we don’t raise awareness and do everything in our power to make sure they stick around for as long as possible then there’s no hope for them at all.
Here are 10 animals that are dangerously close to the edge of extinction.
This smallest of all porpoises only lives in the Gulf of California and there are only 10 left in the wild. And since there are none in captivity, that means there are only about 10 left, period. Poachers drag net through their waters looking for totoaba fish, which are valued in Chinese medicine for their swim bladders, and the vaquitas die when they are caught in nets.
2. Northern White Rhino
There are only two of these beautiful creatures left in the world. Illegal poaching in Africa has driven them to near extinction. The two left are kept in captivity, meaning there are none left in the wild. And unfortunately, they are both female, which means there is very little hope that this species will be able to survive.
3. Fernandina Island Tortoise
This tortoise is native to the Galapagos Islands and was thought to be extinct until one was discovered this year. The last time one was spotted before this year was all the way back in 1906. There are nine more species of tortoises in the Galapagos that are endangered as well.
4. Amur Leopard
Deforestation and poaching have culled the population of the Amur leopard down to approximately 60 in the wild. Most live in a single nature reserve in Russia.
5. Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtle
Native to China and Vietnam, this turtle has lost much of its habitat due to China’s aggressive damming of its home river. At this point, only three are left in the world, two in China and one in Vietnam. Poachers kill these turtles for their eggs, meat, and skin.
6. Hainan Gibbon
There are only 25 of the world’s rarest primate left in the wild on Hainan Island in the South China Sea. Like other animals on this list, poachers and deforestation took a heavy toll on the Hainan Gibbon.
7. Sehuencas Water Frog
Native to Bolivia, there are only six Sehuencas Water Frogs left in the world. Until February 2018, only one frog was known to remain, but five others have been discovered since then.
8. Marsican Brown Bear
A subspecies of the brown bear, these beautiful animals live in the Apennine Mountains of Italy. Only about 50 remain today.
9. South China Tiger
There are thought to be only 24 South China Tigers remaining in the world. To put that into perspective, there were 4,000 in the wild in the 1970s. The 24 remaining today all live in captivity.
10. Asiatic Cheetah
Asiatic Cheetah were sport-hunted to extinction in India, and their numbers have dwindled dramatically over the centuries. Today, they live only in Iran, where there is a population of about 50.