Animal species are faced with the choice of adapting to new temperatures and environments or becoming extinct altogether. Many species across the globe have historically and now faced threats such as habitat loss, excessive hunting, and sickness.
Here are the top 10 of the world’s rarest creatures still found in the wild today. All of the world’s rarest creatures are now in a state of critical endangerment and must be protected immediately.
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Vaquitas (Phocoena sinus) are the rarest mammals on the planet. This porpoise is only found in the most remote part of Mexico’s Gulf of California, at the far northwestern corner. The 1997 census indicated a population of 567; now there are just 18. The vaquita’s extinction is all but certain within the next decade.
Mature females have offspring at a rate of once every two years, which is twice as fast as in other species. Although vaquitas face a number of possible dangers, industrial fishing with unchecked gill nets is the leading cause of their extinction. Two studies found that between 7 and 15 percent of the vaquita population was lost in a single year due to boats leaving from the same port.
9. Javan Rhinoceros
The Javan rhinoceros was formerly the most common of all Asian rhinoceroses, but now it is a critically endangered species.
Only one nature reserve on the island of Java is home to the Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus), an endangered species native to Indonesia.
As the extinction of this species has wiped off its entire range, these 68 creatures make up the maximum population that may survive in this preserve. There are just around 18 adults of breeding age in the population right now.
8. Red Wolf
The red wolf has been argued to be a coyote-wolf hybrid, a subspecies of the gray wolf, or a separate species altogether. Because of this, the red wolf has sometimes been overlooked for inclusion on the list of endangered species.
The red wolf (Canis rufus) is not just one of the world’s rarest animals but also one of the most endangered.
By 1980, this species had gone extinct in the wild, but in 1987, the United States government brought them back to Eastern North Carolina. Over 150 animals have now made a permanent home in the area after the reintroduction.
There were worries that this fast expansion might lead to inbreeding with coyotes and conflicts with local landowners.
7. Sumatrans Rhinoceros
The Sumatran rhinoceros is the smallest and most endangered member of the Rhinoceros family, while being one of the largest living land mammals.
We continue our countdown of the world’s rarest creatures with the Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), one of the most severely endangered big mammals.
It is believed that there are less than 30 mature individuals remaining in viable populations after a decline of nearly 80% in the previous 30 years owing to poaching and habitat destruction.
6. Gobi Bear
The Gobi Desert in Mongolia is home to the rare and elusive Gobi bear and was once an important stop along the historic Silk Road.
Mongolia’s Gobi region is home to a unique subspecies of brown bear known as the Gobi bear (Ursus arctos gobiensis). No Gobi bears are kept as pets, and just around 40 adult bears survive in the wild.
This bear is a hardy, relentless scavenger that has adapted to life in an area with fewer than four inches of annual precipitation.
A close cousin of cattle, the saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis) looks more like a deer than a cow. Due to their rarity and elusive nature, they are frequently referred to as the Asian unicorn.
Due to the dense jungles of Vietnam and the political situation in Laos, no research has ever been able to successfully quantify the saola’s population number.
Loss of habitat and relentless hunting to meet demand for bushmeat and medicinal resources are two of the biggest dangers facing the saola today.
The addax (Addax nasomaculatus) is an extinct antelope species that formerly roamed Africa’s deserts. They have now gone extinct everywhere else, except for Niger’s Termit Tin Toumma area.
There are thousands of addaxes in sanctuaries and zoos across the globe, but only around 30–90 is considered to be adults.
The addax population drastically decreased due to unchecked hunting, and now there are more armed people in the area due to an increase in oil drilling in addax habitats and political unrest.
3. Amur Leopard
The Amur leopard has long had the distinction of being one of the world’s rarest felids. There were only around 19–26 wild leopards left in the region spanning southeast Russia and northeastern China in 2007.
Panthera pardus Orientalis, sometimes known as the Amur leopard, is endemic to the Amur area of Russia and China. The population has increased from an estimated 14 adults in 2005 to roughly 84 mature adults now, almost entirely as a result of hunting for its spotted fur.
2. Philippines Crocodiles
The Philippine crocodile is one of just two crocodile species in the Philippines, making it so uncommon that conservation efforts are being made to conserve it.
The kakapo is doing better than the Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis). The species’ dwindling number of mature adults is a result of significant fragmentation in the inland wetland ecosystems of the Philippine Islands.
The longest wild-caught example of this crocodile was under nine feet in length, making it much smaller than its cousins. Fish, pigs, dogs, and ducks are their main sources of nutrition as they reach adulthood.
The kakapo (Strigops habroptila) is a species of parrot endemic to New Zealand. It is nocturnal, unable to fly, and may live for up to 60 years.
Human colonization of the island and the subsequent introduction of cats to the area had a devastating effect on the native Kakapos population. It is thought that the parrot has died out in its natural habitat.
As a consequence of a government-led initiative to conserve and rehabilitate the species, the population is slowly rising.
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