The survival of endangered species by low breeding rate, habitat loss, and the effects of climate change is a dangerous problem caused by human beings.
For general awareness, I will list some nearly extinct animals that are struggling for their existence on this planet.
I will exclude common-looking yet not so common animals like endangered philippine deer or northern hairy-nosed wombat to justify their existence.
It’s because we humans, to satisfy our visual appeal, only care about those species with exotic appearance. These are the top 10 rarest animals in the world list:
You probably have never heard of the shy and nocturnal Pangolin, which lives in Asia and Africa’s forests or grasslands.
Pangolins are cute, small (approximately house cat’s size), and can protect themselves if they feel threatened by curling up in a circle.
They are also incredibly popular vulnerable species plus the most trafficked mammal in the world.
WildAid estimates that every year people catch up to 100,000 pangolins for their scales and their meat.
Conservationists struggle to save the Pangolin, the world’s most illegally sold mammal, before they are “eaten to near extinction.”
Chinese, Vietnamese, and South-East Asian communities consider Pangolin’s meat a delicacy, whereas scales are valuable for traditional medicine.
There are still eight species to exist in India, China, South-East Asia and parts of Africa.
9. Javan Rhino
Javan Rhinoceros is one of the few five sub-specious and is closest to Indian Rhino species but small in size.
The Javan Rhinos were once plentiful in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, but now only about sixty (searched into two known populations) are left in the wild.
They are now on the Critically Endangered list. There are no Javan Rhinos left in the wild.
We can consider the Vietnam War as the biggest reason for Javan Rhino’s depletion, as it has severely depleted its natural habitat and is regarded as one of the biggest disruptions to the existence of Javan Rhino.
Poachers are looking for their horns like other rhino populations to sell in the black market.
In the last 15 years, only two female Sumatran rhinoceros have bred successfully, but efforts of breeding programs in captivity have not worked well.
8. Red Wolf
The Red Wolf is the Gray Wolf’s cousin. Although native to Florida and the southeast, you may find just around 25 to 40 individuals living in the wild in eastern North Carolina.
IUCN classifies Red wolves in the critically endangered list.
Conservation efforts to save these intelligent animals have been made, but they are still on the brink of extinction.
We know these canine species for their shyness and lifelong mating. In fact, in the wild in 1980, the Red Wolf was deemed extinct.
The number of Red Wolves in captivity has risen to 207, and there are now around 100 in the wild.
A success story, sure, but there are still causes that have contributed to the Red Wolf’s endangerment, including the severe decline of their hunting ground.
Fortunately, there are wildlife reserves to protect these wolves against urban expansion in their natural habitat.
Although this rare species is sometimes called forest giraffes, it looks nothing like a giraffe until you look closer.
Okapis have a long tongue, yet their limbs have black and white stripes like a zebra and physique like horses.
Okapi is the giraffe’s sole living relative, as both belong to the family of Giraffidae, with giraffes are of the genus Giraffa while Okapis are of Okapia.
The history of the Okapi appears to be back in ancient Egypt, where we can find wall engravings of these animals.
There were stories of an “African Unicorn” in Europe and Asia before the 20th century.
In 1887, Henry Morton Stanley described a kind of donkey named “Atti” in the Congo.
Today we know it that such species mentioned could be the Okapi. Scientists, zoologists, and scholars today are much better acquainted with these weird animals.
The reality that the genus Okapia johnstoni is a true fossil, a living creature who seems the way his ancient ancestors are and does not live in close relations, for example, the fact that they are like the giraffe, given its zebra-like coloring.
6. Amur Leopard
We also know Amur leopards as an Eastern leopard, which is the most endangered feline species in the world.
This is a solitary, nocturnal leopard with an estimated wild population of over 84 individuals living in the Amur basin forests in eastern Russia, with some spread around neighboring China and a new sanctuary built-in 2012.
The leopards in Amur have the lowest levels of genetic variation (mating with genetic relatives) than any leopard subspecies, leaving them particularly vulnerable to extinction.
Amur leopard has a thick coat and long thick hair, which varies from creamy yellow to rusty orange.
Their rosettes (spots) have thicker black borders and are more widespread than other leopard subspecies.
The legs and the paw size are larger than other subspecies, making their movement in deep snow easier.
Although human interference plays a significant role in the endangered state of Amur leopards, their low degree of genetic variation for the recent population decline has caused several health problems, including reduced fertility.
5. The Elephant Shrew
This little African rodent is the golden-rumped elephant shrew.
In the elephant shrew family, it is the largest genus with its closest relative, the gray sengi.
The shrew is known as a gold-rumped elephant shrew and is among the world’s most endangered species, primarily because of scattered forests and anthropological circumstances.
Their population is most prominent in Kenya’s Arabuko Sokoke Reserve, but we destroyed their ecosystem because of deforestation.
Hunters capture them in traps, but natives do not use them as a food source because of the terrible taste of their meat.
4. Angel Shark
We can find these species in the Black Sea, Mediterranean, and Northern Atlantic.
Overfishing is one of the reasons for their decline. In the Canary Islands and the Southern Caribbean, there are only a few Angel Sharks remaining.
This animal lies under the sand, to hunt looking for fish to swim in the attack zone. Angel sharks mostly eat small fish and other small marine animals.
3. Golden Tabby Tiger
Only in captivity is this type of rare tiger found. Unlike other tigers, it has a recessive gene and is sometimes called the Strawberry Tiger or Golden Tabby.
Such tigers have a majority of genes similar to Bengal tigers, but typically have Amur tiger genes in their lineage.
The last appearance in the wilderness of the golden tiger was in India’s early 1900s, and they’re unusually associated with areas with high concentrations of clay on the soil.
We can be sure that fewer than 30 of these tigers exist in captivity.
Many marine mammals like Blue Whales and Dolphins fall into in IUCN endangered species list.
One species is facing a serious existential threat, Vaquita.
Vaquita is the smallest of the marine mammal, around four feet and a half in size. In Spanish, the name of the animal means “little cow.”
The Marine mammal center now estimates that only about 10-15 vaquitas remain in the world and that their population has decreased at an astonishing rate.
The species is native to Mexico and the Gulf of California. Fishers who use gillnets are threatening their existence.
In cooperation with international environmental scientists, animal care professionals, and marine mammal veterinarians, the Marine Mammal Institute works to protect Vaquita by demanding removal of gillnets.
These helpless animals going extinct soon will completely go extinct until the end of 2020 if we don’t take a firm step for their conservation.
If you never heard of the Saola, don’t feel bad. This animal is so rare that scientific researchers only have seen it four times in the wild until now (yes, four times).
Which makes Saola the rarest animal in the world; they are sometimes known as ‘Asian unicorn.’
Saola is known for the two horns on his head and the white marks on its face and can only found in Southeast Asia’s Laos and Vietnam.
Saolas are closely related to cattle, but they look like antelopes a little more.
The major causes of Saola’s risk of extinction because of habitat loss are poaching and deforestation.
Limiting habitat requirements and aversion to human proximity threaten their habitat loss even more.
Saola has suffered injuries because of local hunting and illegal trade in furs, as food for medicines and meat.
I hope you loved this top 10 rarest animals in the world list.
Please share it with your friends on social media as much as you can to spread awareness.