Endangered Species Day

Every year, Endangered Species Day falls on the third Friday in May to both raise awareness of endangered species and celebrate those that have recovered because of conservation efforts.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUNC) list of threatened species, over 10,000 species are listed as endangered, and more than 2,000 species listed as critically endangered!

In this blog we want to highlight 5 of the most endangered species globally to raise awareness for the reasons behind their decline.

Vaquita

The Vaquita is a small porpoise that lives In California. Their population is rapidly declining due to illegal fishing nets being used to target other species of fish. It is estimated that less than 10 Vaquita remain in the wild, making them the most endangered marine mammal in the world

Sumatran Rhino

The Sumatran Rhino is the smallest of the specifies and are native to Southeast Asia. Their population has rapidly declined in the past 20 years owing to habitat loss and poaching.

Javan Rhino

That’s right, not one but two species of Rhino are critically endangered. They are found in Java, Indonesia and are declining due to habitat loss, deforestation, and poaching.

Amur Leopard 

The Amur Leopard can be found in the Amur-Heilong region of Russia and China. They are sadly poached for their fur and face the additional stressor of habitat loss, owing to their rapidly reclining population.

Mountain Gorilla

These magnificent mammals are found in the forests of the Virunga Mountains in East Africa. Populations are declining due to habitat loss and poaching.

 It’s sad to hear about these declining populations but with the right education and conservation efforts we can turn things around! Here are two examples of previously endangered species that how now recovered thanks to conservation efforts:

Bald Eagle

The Bald Eagle was listed as endangered in the 1960s due to habitat loss, hunting and the use of the pesticide DDT. Thanks to persistent conservation efforts like habitat protection, hunting regulations and the ban of DDT the species was able to recover. It was removed from the endangered species list in 2007 and the population has been growing ever since!

Gray Whale

The Grey Whale was hunted nearly to extinction for their meat and oil. Conservation efforts such as hunting bans and protection of breeding areas led to the mammal’s recovery. In 1994 it was removed from the endangered species list and the current population is estimated to be around 27,000!

These are two great examples of how we can turn things around with the right policies, laws, and actions! This is why we are proud to be partnering with WWF this year to support their conservation efforts globally. There is hope for endangered species, but it all depends on us!

P.S. - keep your eyes peeled for a new blog all about WWF and our partnership, coming soon!


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