All species have their right to survival. The witty souls however have taken it as a liberty to survive at the cost of other organisms. In the survival of the fittest yes, knowledgeable humans will have the better. There are millions of unique species of life on our planet, but unfortunately, many of the species are very close to extinction. We are living in an age where the world’s most amazing animals are becoming scarce at an alarming rate. Here we have some the smallest and cutest animals that are on the verge of extinction and need the utmost attention.
1. Black Lemur:
The Black Lemur were once inhabitants of the northwestern parts of the islands of Madagascar, but brutality shown toward them is the reason why this shy animal is fighting for its existence. As humans replaced their homes by plantations, these cute little animals became instruments to cruelty. They were poisoned or shot as pests, resulting in placing them on the list of endangered species.
2. Sea Otters:
This cute marine mammal, which once lived in he coastal, waters of the Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea from northern Asia and the Aleutian Islands south to Lower California is very close to extinction. They have long been hunted for their soft, thick and lustrous fur. Pollution from oil spills is a major threat to them as they depend on air trapped in their thick fur for insulation against the cold. To give it protection an international treaty has been passed. Ever since, an increase has been seen in their population. Now an estimate of 25,000 and 40,000 sea otters can be seen worldwide.
3. Vancouver Island Marmot:
This small animal, nearly the size of a woodchuck, has suffered from human interference through logging, recreational activity and hunting. The cute animal found in the higher mountains on Vancouver Island, depends on a very restrictive habitat of alpine and sub-alpine meadows and avalanche slopes. It was discovered in 1910 and its count has been decreasing at a pace that less than 70 of them remain now. Many naturalist groups and government agencies have come forward to protect them.
4. Black Footed Ferret:
This is one of the most endangered mammals in North America, an animal on the edge of extinction in the wild. Wide-scale poisoning programs to eradicate prairie dogs and the destruction of grassland habitat also killed off the ferret. By the year 2010, biologists hope to have 1500 of these endearing animals established in the wild, with no fewer than 30 breeding adults in each population.
5. Polar bear cub:
Polar bear cubs are facing extinction and if things do not change soon they could go extinct in 100 years. Due to the climate change the North Pole, home to these cute animals is melting by 10% each day and is likely to increase. Researchers estimate that due to massive habitat loss and climate change, there are between 22,000 and 40,000 polar bears left in the wild.
The orangutan, native to Indonesia and Malaysia, are critically endangered. These cute apes are now found only in rainforests on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. There are an estimated 30,000 orangutans left in the wild, about 20,000 on Borneo and under 10,000 on Sumatra. The reasons for its fight for survival are its forest habitat is being rapidly destroyed by conversion to agriculture, both by large commercial plantations and smaller subsistence farms. At the same time, humans are killing its prey species (birds and small mammals) for food and capturing it for the pet trade.
7. Giant Panda:
One of the most adored animals in the world is the Giant Panda. Their population is alarmingly low, nearly 3,000. This endangered species is threatened by continued habitat loss, human encroachment, poaching and by a very low birthrate both in the wild and in captivity.
The chimpanzee, a resident of the rainforest and savanna of equatorial Africa is heavily threatened. The number of chimpanzees in the wild has dropped steadily since 1960. In early times, over one million chimpanzees inhabited more than 25 countries in Africa. But, research has shown that there are only 150,000 to 235,000 chimpanzees left in the wild. The cause behind the decline number is habitat destruction, population fragmentation, disease and human persecution.
9. Slow Loris:
The Slow Loris is an endangered species found in the tropical dry forests of Vietnam, Laos, China, and parts of Cambodia. The main cause behind its decreasing number is the destruction of its habitat. It is also widely trapped and killed for use in medicinal remedies and also for use as laboratory animals.
This cuddly little animal is found throughout Australia. The koala was hunted to an extent that it was declared extinct. Only now are they slowly being reintroduced into the island regions of Southern Australia. The Australian Government currently lists the koala as a priority species for conservation status assessment. Government estimates of the national koala population numbers in the hundreds of thousands, although other studies have estimated as few as 80,000 koalas left in the wild.
11. Red Panda:
The Red Panda no doubt is absolutely cute but has only a small chance to survive. The cause behind its being critically endangered is persistent habitat loss, human encroachment, poaching and a very low birthrate.
12. Tree Kangaroo:
The Tree Kangaroo can be found in some rainforests across Australia and in Papua New Guinea and the islands that surround it. This amazing creature is critically endangered. The cute animal that can jump down from a height of 10 meters with ease and spring into trees, using its strong legs and its tail, as a rudder is unfortunately facing extinction. Putting it on the endangered animals list is habitat destruction.