Endangered wildlife animals are known as ‘charismatic megafauna’ for a reason. Where people are most likely to donate to save adorable-looking pandas or magnificent tigers, they couldn’t care less about a skinless worm or an exotic frog. All animals should be protected as each one of them makes a significant contribution to our ecosystem, benefitting our lives in one way or the other.
Unfortunately, we humans have wiped out almost 60% of the animal population since 1970. Scientists say that the animal extinction rate has nearly increased to 1000 times more than in the previous centuries. While human activities are destroying hundreds of native species every year, certain organizations are striving hard to protect as many endangered species as they can. Thanks to their tireless efforts and utmost care, some endangered species have been saved. But many are still waiting to be either saved by humanity or destroyed by mankind’s greed.
Wildlife Animals Saved from Extinction
These beautiful black vultures with colored necks were on the brink of extinction and considered endangered wildlife . There were only 27 California Condors left in 2007. They were taken to breeding camps, and with the combined effort of San Diego Wild Animal Park and Los Angeles Zoo, the birds were saved.
Large antelopes with brown bodies and thin white stripes, Bongos were among the last enormous mammal species discovered. They were found in shockingly low numbers due to the reduction of their natural habitat. Several zoos across the world are working on a Bongo Breeding Program. There are more Eastern Bongs in captive than in wildlife.
This beautiful Australian bird feeds on the nectar of certain species of eucalyptus trees, but deforestation has led to the loss of its essential food source. There were only 1500 regent honeyeaters remaining in Australia until many zoos and tree planting organizations joined hands to save these lovely birds. Their total number is increasing, ensuring security in the future.
Bellinger River Turtle
Bellinger River Snapping Turtle is one of the unique turtle species found on the coast of Bellinger River in Australia. In 2015, nearly 90% of the species were found to be wiped out due to an endemic of severe disease. Taronga Zoo Sydney rescued 16 healthy turtles, and a breeding program was started. The first hatchlings came in 2017, thus helping to remove these animals from the endangered wildlife list.
Golden Lion Tamarian
This is a beautiful ape species found in native Brazil that became endangered due to deforestation, mining, and the risk of poaching. Organization and zoos worldwide combined their efforts to save Golden Lion Tamarian from extinction. Nearly one-third of the population is of those raised by human care.
The Unfortunately Endangered Wildlife
There are only 25,000 blue whales remaining. The blue whale is the largest animal on the planet. Their current population is 90% less than that in the 20th century. The National Marine Fisheries Services of US Came up with the Blue Whale recovery plan in 1988.
Currently, four organizations are working for Blue Whale recovery plan; WWF being the largest contributor for Blue Whale conservation. But the overall progress of the Blue Whale Recovery Program has been slow. Only one population, which is in North Western California, is showing significant signs of recovery.
There are less than 6500 Snow Leopards remaining in the wild. They are found mainly in China and Mongolia. There is also a significant population of Snow Leopard in India and Kyrgyzstan. The naturally prey on sheep and Ibex, but are also dependant on domestic animals. These animals have become endangered wildlife because farmers shoot them when they prey on domestic animals. Furthermore, hunting and poaching have significantly reduced their numbers.
With two major species of gorilla and three different subspecies within, the numbers of remaining gorillas vary. But regardless of the species, all gorillas are endangered. The substantial loss of gorillas is due to poaching and habitat encroachment. Gorillas have complex social structures. Their females bear a child every four years. So their breeding programs have not yielded a successful rate.
With the increase in the trade of commercial fur, there has been a significant decrease in the population of the Sea Otter. At the beginning of the 20th century, only 2000 sea otters were found remaining out of an estimated 300,000. Other than this, damaging marine habitats is also a reason for the endangering of sea otters among the many species.
The ban on commercial hunting came under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Other factors were also considered in this act, including killer whale predation and oil spills.
Here were some of the endangered wildlife, including some species that have been saved from getting extinct in the near future. Although species extinction is a natural phenomenon, a higher rate of animal extinction due to human activities is perilous for the ecosystem. Unfortunately, it is not possible to save all the endangered species. But each one of us can contribute to saving them by taking significant steps at a personal level, be it reducing the carbon footprint or by stopping the use of plastic products, or getting involved in the many conservation programs that aim to help this cause.