Wednesday, June 17, 2015
CLOSE TO EXTINCTION
WHITE RINO In 1960, there were more than 2,000. Now only 5 today, 1 male. SUMATRAN TIGER Less than 400 in the patches of forest on Sumatra Island. Rampant deforestation and poaching have made their future look bleak. VAQUITA Rarest marine mammals. They are often caught and drowned in grillets used for illegal fishing operations in Mexico's Gulf of California. Less than 100 left. WESTERN LOWLAND GORILLA In the Congo Basin. Their numbers have decreased by 60% in the last 20-25 years due to poaching and disease. AMUR LEOPARD In the Russian Far East Habitation degradation due to rampant human activities threatening their existence. 60 members of the family survive. JAVAN RHINO Habitat loss and poaching reduced their numbers over the years. Around 35 are left. SUMATRAN ELEPHANT They contribute to a healthy forest ecosystem. Civil conflicts, hunting and poaching for tusks have reduced their population to about 2,400 to 2,800. SAOLA Discovered in Vietnam in 1992, one of the most spectacular zoological discoveries of the 20th century. Hunting, poaching, habitat fragmentation and snares threaten their existence. HAWKSBILL TURTLE Found throughout the world's tropical oceans. They help maintain the health of coral reefs and seagrass beds. They are extensively poached for their colored and patterned shells, sold in the market at high prices tortoise shells. SOUTH CHINA TIGER They were hunted in thousands before a ban by the Chinese government in 1979. A group of 30 to 80 were last sighted in 1996 prompting scientists to consider the animal as 'functionally extinct'.