7 Animals You Didn't Know Are Endangered
When we think of endangered animals, our minds often leap to iconic creatures such as tigers or black rhinos. Whilst these animals have successfully captured the world’s attention, there’s a vast array of other creatures teetering on the brink of extinction. Here are 7 animals you perhaps didn’t know are endangered.
7 Animals You Might Not Know Are Endangered
Some types of giraffes are in trouble: reticulated giraffes are classed as endangered on the IUCN Red List, whilst Kordofan and Nubian giraffe subspecies, both types of Northern Giraffes, are listed as critically endangered.
Giraffe numbers have declined drastically due to habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as poaching for their meat and hides. Conservation efforts are crucial to ensure that these graceful giants continue to roam our planet.
The axolotl has a remarkable ability to regenerate body parts and never moves past the larval stage – and these are just a few of the fun facts that make this creature truly fascinating!
Whilst there are many axolotls in captivity all around the world, in the wild they’re only found in one part of Mexico. Water pollution, urbanization, and the introduction of predatory species such as tilapia has caused the surviving number of axolotls in the wild to be an estimated 50-1000 individuals, making them critically endangered.
Native to North America, the black-footed ferret is one of the most endangered mammals on the continent.
Interestingly, they were at one point falsely believed to be extinct. They were listed as endangered in 1967, then when the last black-footed ferret in captivity died, they were believed to be extinct. However, in 1981 a small population was discovered in Wyoming. The last assessment by the IUCN Red List in 2015 put the number of mature individiuals at just 206.
Habitat loss, disease, and their dependence on prairie dogs for food have made their survival a challenge. As prairie dog numbers have declined, so have black-footed ferrets.
Which leads us onto the next animal...
4. Prairie Dogs
2 types of prairie dogs are currently classed as endangered: Utah prairie dog and Mexican prairie dog.
A keystone species, their underground colonies support over 100 other creatures, plus their burrowing helps to aerate the soil. They’re also an important food source for several animals, including the aforementioned endangered black-footed ferret.
Disease, habitat loss, and poisoning have led to rapid declines in population numbers of prairie dogs.
Living on a small island off the coast of Panama, the pygmy three-toed sloth is the smallest sloth species and is critically endangered with less than 100 individuals remaining.
Destruction of their habitat is a major concern, with their already small home being destroyed for timber and charcoal.
Several shrimp species have been declared extinct or classified as possibly extinct, and many more are threatened with extinction. Not a creature most of us give much thought to, shrimps play important roles in nature that include nutrient cycling, decomposing leaf litter, and being a food source for many species such as crabs, seabirds, whales and sharks.
Many shrimp species face threats that push them closer to extinction, including being harvested for aquariums, habitat destruction and water pollution.
Parrots are creatures that probably don’t spring to mind when we think of endangered species, but many types of parrots are in fact endangered. Examples include the Spix’s Macaw, Orange-Bellied Parrot and African Grey Parrot.
Similar threats face many types of parrots, including habitat destruction and being captured for the pet market.
Did you know that the animals we've featured are endangered? Being made aware of more endangered animals reminds us that countless species are struggling to survive in the face of human-driven threats. The diversity of life on Earth, from the towering giraffes to the tiny shrimp, is interconnected. By raising awareness and supporting conservation initiatives, we can ensure that these lesser-known creatures continue to grace our planet with their presence. Our range of thoughtful apparel contains hand-drawn designs of various endangered animals, including the African Grey Parrot, Axolotls and Northern Giraffes - shop all designs today and we'll fund the planting of trees and donate to ecological nonprofits on your behalf.