The animals in danger of extinction are all those species whose number decreased by more than half in the last three generations . This accelerated decline of one species can in turn affect other species.
The destruction of habitat, hunting and uncontrolled fishing, as well as climate change, damage survival in the world. Here are some examples of animals in danger of extinction.
1. Bornean orangutan
The population of the Bornean orangutan ( Pongo pygmaeus ) has decreased by 60% since 1950. The expansion of plantations on the island of Borneo in Asia destroys the habitat of this animal. On the other hand, illegal hunting also affects the life of this orangutan.
2. Gibraltar Monkey
The Gibraltar monkey, or Berberea monkey ( Macaca sylvanus ) is the only monkey species native to Europe. It is in danger due to deforestation, illegal trade and inadequate food with sweets by tourists and farmers from North Africa.
3. Iguana of the Lesser Antilles
Native to the Antillean islands, this reptile ( Iguana delicatissima ) is used by local people as food. It can also cross with other iguanas, which causes the genetic purity of this species to be lost.
Another threat that these iguanas suffer are domestic dogs and cats. These animals hunt them, especially the younger ones.
4. Polar bear
Although not yet in danger of extinction, the state of the polar bear ( Ursus maritimus ) is vulnerable due to the impact of climate change.
These animals live in the frozen areas of the Arctic, and feed mainly on seals. With global warming and the loss of ice, the polar bear’s habitat is at risk of disappearing.
The population of the New Zealand sea lion ( Phocarctos hookeri ) is of just 3,000 individuals. The indiscriminate hunting is the main threat of this animal.
6. White-headed vulture
The white-headed vulture ( Trigonoceps occipitalis ) is a scavenger bird of Africa. Their numbers have decreased alarmingly in the last ten years.
Peasants use poison to kill lions and hyenas that damage their crops; the vulture is poisoned by eating these dead animals.
7. Black-headed spider monkey
The black-headed spider monkey ( Ateles fusciceps ) is native to the rainforests of Colombia, Ecuador and Panama. It lives predominantly in the tops of trees and feeds on fruits. It is threatened due to the loss of its habitat and hunting.
8. Whale shark
The whale shark ( Rhincodon typus ) is the largest fish on Earth. It can reach 10 meters and has a characteristic dotted pattern. It inhabits a large part of the tropical and temperate seas of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. In some countries the fin is used to make soups. Since 2016 it is in danger of extinction.
The mola mola (scientific name), also called head fish, sunfish or sunfish, lives in temperate and warm areas of all oceans.
This fish is characterized by its flat body on the sides and its great weight (from 250 kg to one ton). It looks like a fish without a body, with only its head and tail.
10. Magnificent toad fish
On the Cozumel island of Mexico and in coralline caves of Belize is the splendid toad fish ( Sanopus splendidus ).
This fish is characterized by its striking colors and its flattened shape. Pollution, the transformation of coasts and the increase of tourism are the greatest threats against this species.
11. Bumblebee of rusty patch
The rusty patch bumblebee ( Bombus affinis ) lives in Canada, Mexico and the USA. Of great importance in agriculture, this insect pollinator builds its hives on the ground. Unfortunately, its population has declined due to pesticides, damage to its habitat and parasites from other regions.
12. Lazy pigmy
The lazy pygmy ( Bradypus pygmaeus ) lives only on the Escudo de Veraguas island on the east coast of Panama. With only half a meter in length, this species is the smallest of the sloths. It feeds mainly on the leaves of trees and their movements are very slow.
Tourism on the island and the capture of animals to keep them as pets harm the population of this species.
13. Ecuadorian Amazon parrot
This beautiful bird has been in danger of extinction since 2014. The Ecuadorian amazon parrot ( Amazona lilacina ) is native to the mangroves and tropical forests of Ecuador.
14. Madagascar starry turtle
The Madagascar star turtle or striped turtle ( Astrochelys radiata ) lives for many years and feeds on plants and fruits. It is in danger of extinction since 2008. The inhabitants of Madagascar use them as food and as pets.
Protection of animals in danger of extinction
To prevent the extinction of animals, protection programs have been created in captivity and natural parks. Another measure is the regulation of hunting and fishing in certain geographical regions.
There are organizations whose task is to alert and educate about the effect of the loss of animal species. We can mention the International Union for the conservation of nature IUCN (for its acronym in English), the conservationist group Paz Verde (Green Peace) and the Foundation for wildlife WWF (for its acronym in English World Wildlife Foundation), among others.