WWF’s Top 2012 Endangered Species
Asian elephants (Elephas maximus)
Are currently listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened
Species, meaning they are “facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.”
World Wildlife Fund estimates that there are between 41,410 and 52,345 Asian
elephants in the wild.
Efforts to raise awareness for elephants’ fragile status include Elephant
The Javan Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus)
Is very close to extinction. There are believed to be as few as 40 left in
the wild in Ujung Kulon National Park, Indonesia and none are currently in
captivity. The IUCN Red List currently lists Javan rhinos as critically
In October, poachers killed the last remaining Javan rhino in Vietnam.
Several were alive in the wild in Vietnam as recently as 2004.
A survey of surviving Javan rhinos in Indonesia found that there are very few
females in the population.
Snow leopards (Panthera uncia)
Are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List. IUCN estimates that there are
4,080 to 6,590 snow leopards in the wild.
A subspecies, the Amur leopard is critically endangered. Native to the
Russian Far East and northern China, there are fewer than 50 left in the wild.
In July, cameras recorded snow leopards in 16 different locations in
Tigers (Panthera tigris)
Are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List. According to WWF, there are as
few as 3,200 tigers left in the wild.
In November, Interpol launched a campaign to save tigers in the 13 Asian
countries where they still exist, reported the Associated Press. There were
around 100,000 tigers in Asia in 1900.
The Irrawaddy dolpin (Orcaella brevirostris)
which is native to Southeast Asia, is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red
List. The Mekong River subpopulation, however, is listed as critically
According to WWF, there are only 85 of these dolphins left in Southeast Asia.
The limited range of this animal along with killing by fisherman has left
Irrawaddy dolphin populations in danger.
The Vaquita (Phocoena sinus)
Is a small porpoise native to the Gulf of California. It is listed as
critically endangered on the IUCN Red List.
WWF estimates that there are around 245 vaquita left in the wild. They are
most immediately threatened by “entanglement in fishing gear.” Fortunately,
WWF helped authorities in Mexico to reduce bycatch of vaquita to a “level that
does not threaten the population” by 2009.
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus)
Are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List. According to WWF, they are
threatened by overfishing.
A report from October found that eastern Atlantic bluefin is traded at twice
the amount catch quotas actually allow.
The mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei)
A subspecies of the eastern gorilla, is listed as critically endangered on
the IUCN Red List.
WWF explains that there are estimated to be about 786 individuals left in the
two mountain gorilla populations near the Uganda-Rwanda-DRC and in a national
park in Uganda. However, the two populations have grown by 14 and 12 percent,
respectively, in the past decade.
Armed conflicts and natural resource exploitation have been blamed for
endangering the gorilla populations.
The Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii)
Is listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List. According to WWF,
they are the most endangered of the two orangutan species and there are about
7,500 Sumatran Orangutans left in the wild.
Native only to parts of Sumatra, Indonesia, the orangutans are threatened by
human agricultural and residential development.
A recent study found that residents of Borneo killed at least 750 endangered
orangutans in a one-year period.
Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea)
are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List. According to WWF,
there are about 34,000 nesting females left in the world and populations in the
Atlantic are relatively stable. In the Pacific, however, there may be as few as
2,300 adult females.
Their wide geographical distribution and shallow dive depth means they are
threatened by longline fishing operations, explains WWF.
A study from September found that although the number of sea turtles killed
in U.S. fisheries has declined by 90 percent since 1990, it may not be enough to
sustain sea turtle populations.
just don't understand how humans can be so careless