Now more than ever, we need to implement conscious choices in our everyday lives that protect our wildlife, especially the animals in extreme danger and in need of the most assistance.
To raise awareness in support World Habitat Day (October 5, 2020) and to put animal welfare first, Trafalgar is sharing the top nine animals facing extinction due to habitat loss which are part of the 2020 World Wildlife Fund endangered species list. Discover the negative impact humans have had on these creatures’ habitats and how we can all make a difference and support conservation efforts around the globe to help maintain animal’s homes for generations to come.
1. Indian Elephant
Indian elephants are the first species on our endangered list due to habitat loss. Elephants are not only seen as a cultural icon throughout India, they also help to maintain the integrity of the forests and grasslands. An increase in the human population throughout India has left little shared land for these magnificent creatures. Due to humans overstepping into protected areas and clearing forests for roads and other development, this is causing a significant reduction in these beloved animal’s homes. Indian elephants are left with no other choice but to confine to areas without reliable food and shelter.
Whales are at the top of the food chain, however in the North Atlantic only 400 exist. Whales are another species on the global endangered list for many reasons. Firstly, many of the world’s busiest shipping routes overlap with areas in large bodies of water where whales feed and use as their breeding grounds. The homes of these species are being destroyed due to collisions with ships, harm caused by fishing gear and pollution which are also increasing injuries and causing death to whales.
3. Mountain Gorilla
The mountain gorilla is another animal facing extinction, having been added to the endangered list. Currently, there are around 1,000 of these amazing animals found in the high areas of forests in the mountains in central Africa. The natural habitats of mountain gorillas (even lands within protected areas) have been cleared by humans for agriculture and livestock. Along with poaching, the lands of mountain gorillas have been destroyed by people illegally harvesting charcoal to fuel their houses. This has been seen in Virunga National Park, located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, home to more than half of the world’s population mountain gorilla.
4. Black Rhinoceros
The black rhinoceros is a rare species located in Africa and is also another animal facing extinction and listed as critically endangered. With around 5,600 black rhinoceros left on earth, poaching remains their biggest threat. The horns of one of the oldest groups of mammals on earth are a top demand for cold remedies in Vietnam and China. Another reason for the decline in this species includes the loss of their habitat due to human activities including agriculture, settlement and infrastructure development.
5. Sea Turtle
Sea turtles have been around for over 100 million years and play an important part in balancing the ocean’s ecosystems. In recent years, these amazing sea creatures, who are also extremely dependent on land for nesting, have seen an incremental loss and damages to their habitat due to vehicle traffic on beaches, coastal development and other human activities disturbing their way of life. Along with an increase in pollution in water ways, the effects of climate change, overharvesting and illegal trading have all contributed to putting sea turtles on the world’s most endangered species list.
In the Malay language, the name orangutan means “man of the forest.” Unfortunately, this incredible species known for their red fur and long powerful arms and hands are officially declared as critically endangered. The homes of these great apes are slowly disappearing due to human activity and the search for oil palm plantations. More than 50% of the orangutan population can be found living outside of its dedicated protected area of the forest as illegal logging inside protected areas has increased.
7. Red Panda
Almost 50% of the population of red pandas can be found in the Eastern Himalayas. However, these incredible species are seeing a decline due to the loss of nesting trees and bamboo. Their homes in the forest are being cleared by human activities and with less than 10,000 of these creatures left in the wild, this possesses a series risk on their existence for generations to come.
In some parts of the world including India, Nepal, Bhutan, Russia and China, the population of tigers is either stable or increasing. However, in Southeast Asia, the population of tigers has been rated endangered and numbers are declining dramatically. Tigers, also known as ‘Big Cats,’ play a critical role in the ecosystem. As the homelands of these creatures, including mountains, jungles and long grasses become limited due to agriculture growth, timber cutting, new infrastructures and human and industrial settlement, tigers are pushed into smaller areas of land and will not survive.
9. African Wild Dog
The last of the animal’s facing extinction on our list, is the African wild dog. Some of the major threats to the well-being of these animals include accidental and targeted hunting by humans, diseases, competition among other predators and habitat loss. African wild dogs are losing the space they once roamed on freely due to the human population expanding.
Through our JoinTrafalgar efforts, saving animals facing extinction remains a top priority. Some important steps you can take to ensure the survival of these creatures on the world’s most endangered list include recycling, taking the time to learn and educate yourself on the plight of the animals, and supporting local organizations protecting wildlife around the world.
Are any of your favourite species on the world’s most endangered list? What are you doing to help ensure their existence? Let us know in the comments below.