25 Endangered Animals You Should Know About

Just try to look at a pika without melting.

Kenya, Taita-Taveta County, Tsavo East National Park, Herd of elephants (Loxodonta Africana)
Getty ImagesNigel Pavitt

From the mountaintops to the deep sea, these animals need our protection. To help, visit the .

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Black-Footed Ferret

These furry critters have the distinction of being the most endangered mammals in North America, according the , with around 300 left across the continent. Their existence is threatened by disease and loss of habitat.

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Red Panda

There are only around 10,000 adult red pandas in the wild due to poaching and loss of habitat. Conservation efforts have included making red panda hunting illegal in certain areas, but their low birth rate makes it a slow process.

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Tapir

Four of the five species of tapir that exist in areas of South America, Central America, and Southeastern Asia are either endangered or vulnerable because of poaching and the destruction of their habitats. Tapirs also have a slower reproductive rate, which has made conservation efforts a bit of a challenge. They carry one baby at a time and pregnancies last 13 or 14 months.

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Western Steller Sea Lion

Steller sea lions are divided up by their migration patterns as either western or eastern. The population of eastern stellers is flourishing, but the numbers for the western group (specifically in Alaska) are decreasing due to overfishing of their food source and other environmental factors.

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American Pika

These mini mammals were denied protection from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in 2010 despite urging from advocacy groups and a study from the U.S. Geological Survey suggesting that they're disappearing because of climate change.

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Peruvian Black Spider Monkey

Habitat destruction and being hunted for the Amazonian meat trade caused this species to be added to the endangered lists in 2014. Their population has been cut in half over the past 45 years.

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Galápagos Penguin

Galápagos penguins are the only penguin species that live above the equator, but their changing environment is causing their numbers to dwindle. The population is less than 2000 as pollution and climate affect the area.

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Okapi

Okapi, also known as the "forest giraffe," was classified as endangered in 2013 after the discovery that their population went down 50% over an 18-year period. This is due in part to ongoing conflict in their native Democratic Republic of the Congo which has destroyed their habitat. Also, like most of the animals on this list, they are targets for poachers.

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Hawksbill Turtle

This species, found near tropical reefs in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans, is dying out because their shells are sold in black markets. Sea turtles have been on the earth for 100 million years, but there are only around 15,000 Hawksbills in the world that are capable of laying eggs.

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Giant Otter

The giant otters of South America have been on the endangered species list since 1999. There are less than 5,000 of these creatures left because they are hunted for their fur.

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Tasmanian Devil

This carnivorous marsupial native to (you guessed it) Tasmania has been largely wiped out by a facial cancer. The population was decimated from 130,000 to 150,000 in the mid-90's to between 10,000 and 15,000 in the late 1990s.

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Kakapo

The kakapo or "owl parrot" is a flightless bird native to New Zealand listed as critically endangered. There are less than 150 in existence due to an incredibly slow reproductive cycle (every two or three years). Conservationists have been working to ensure the survival of the kakapo chicks to keep the species from disappearing entirely.

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Bowhead Whale

Bowhead whales are valuable in the eyes of poachers for their oil and meat. They are mostly found in the arctic and can live up to 200 years if outside forces don't put them in danger.

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Honeycreeper

The Hawaiian honeycreeper population is on the decline as a result of disease and habitat destruction. Research published in Science Advances in 2016 found that various honeycreeper subspecies have gone down between 68% and 94% over the last 10 years. Several organizations, including the , work toward the conservation of the remaining honeycreepers.

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Amur Leopard

Native to the Russian Far East, there are less than 100 of this leopard subspecies in the wild. Fur poaching, forest degradation, and inbreeding are the primary reasons for their critically endangered status.

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Bluefin Tuna

This endangered fish can live up to 40 years, but overfishing has reduced the population by over 96%. There are three bluefin species: Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern. Atlantic is the most overfished because they're the largest.

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Sumatran Elephant

This critically endangered subspecies of Asian elephant is dwindling in numbers because of a shrinking habitat and ivory poachers. Their population is around 2,000.

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Arroyo Toad

Habitat destruction led California's arroyo toad to be added to the as endangered. It's believed that there are only 3,000 left of the breeding population and they currently occupy 75% less area than they used to.

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Gharial

The gharial crocodile population is believed to have decreased as much as 98% over three generations from 1946 to 2006. With less than 300 estimated to be in existence, they are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List. Conservation efforts are underway in their native home of the Indian subcontinent.

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Addax

Wild addax are classified as critically endangered because of unregulated hunting in their native habitat in the Sahara. A 2016 report uncovered only three remaining addax in that region.

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Malayan Tiger

With less than 300 left in the world, these tigers from the Malay Peninsula are classified as a critically endangered. The tigers are being poached for their meat and bones. Overdevelopment is also downsizing their habitat.

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Black Rhino

Black rhinos remain on the critically endangered list despite a population increase in recent years. Their horns make them constant targets for hunters and poachers. It's estimated that there are less than 2,500 left in their native sub-Saharan Africa.

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Pangolin

There are eight species of pangolin and all of them are in danger of extinction. They are considered "the most illegally traded mammal in the world," primarily because their meat is considered a delicacy in China and Vietnam, and their scales are used to make medicine in China.

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African Wild Dog

There are around 5,000 wild dogs left in Africa due to hunting and habitat loss. They are carnivorous pack animals who can travel over 44 miles per hour.

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Flatwoods Salamander

Both the frosted and reticulated species of Flatwoods salamanders are at risk, although the reticulated subspecies is the only one currently classified as endangered. Environmental changes such as drought and rising sea levels are making their native areas in the southern United States uninhabitable.

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