Just when we thought that this year can’t get any worse we find out that there are certain species that may or may not survive this year. The human needs can be satisfied but the human desire can never be fulfilled completely. This desire for luxury has pushed many species to the edge where they are extremely close to extinction. We are here to talk about 5 species of animals that are critically endangered and could be extinct before the end of this year.
1. Javan Rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus)
Javan rhinos are the most endangered rhinos among all the existing species of rhinos. They weigh between a range of 900 to 2300 kgs and are somewhere around 5 – 6 feet tall. They were once predominantly found in tropical forests of North east India and South east Asia but are now only limited to Ujung Kulon National Park situated in Indonesia.
Their dusky grey color and their peculiar 10 inch long horn makes it easy for anyone to identify them. There are only 58-70 Javan Rhinos left and they could easily go extinct even before the end of this year if proper measure are not taken to ensure their survival.
Source – https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/javan-rhino
2. Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)
Sumatran Rhinos are a close second to Javan Rhinos when it comes to the most endangered species on Earth. They are the smallest rhinos that are still alive and are the only asian species of Rhinos with 2 horns. They can be identified with a reddish – brown skin in their young adults and mostly black in older adults. They weigh somewhere between 600 to 950 kgs and are 3.5 – 5 feet tall.
They were once free to roam around the foothills of Eastern Himalaya and through dense highland and lowland tropical and sub-tropical forests of Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Thailand and China are now only limited to the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. Even though they are the second most endangered species yet they have seen a huge rate of decline in their population over the past few decades. There are only 80-90 Sumatran Rhinos left who are relatively more threatened to extinction due to a loss in their habitat and loss of fragmentation.
3. Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis)
This is one of the rarely heard species of leopards that has adapted to Temperate, Broadleaf, and Mixed Forests of South East Russia and Northern China. They weigh somewhere around 30-50 kgs and are quick and agile. They are very well known for their silent killing and are quite apt in the art of hunting.
They are also good at hiding their food to avoid it getting stealed by other predators. It is said that an Amur Leopard can sprint upto a speed of 37 miles per hour and can leap upto a height of 19 feet horizontally and 10 feet vertically. The average life of an Amur leopard is somewhere around 15-20 years. There are only 84 Amur Leopards left today.
4. Cross River Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli)
Cross River Gorillas are a subspecies of normal lowland Gorillas therefore they have a similar resemblance to that of any other gorilla difference being their skull shape and their teeth.
They were found in the jungles which was encroached by humans for creating fields for their livestock and for the purpose of agriculture. They can weigh upto 200 kgs and can be as tall as 5 feet when standing on two feet.
There are only 200 – 300 Gorillas left spanning across the border of Nigeria and Cameroon. Poaching is quite common in this region and it has resulted in decline of their population given the numbers are few to begin with.
5. Sundra Tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica)
The Sundra Tiger which is found on the island of Sumatra is said to be one of the most endangered species of tigers. These tigers were once found in the Tropical broadleaf evergreen forests, freshwater swamp forests and peat swamps of Sumatra, Java and Bali.
They mark a striking resemblance to the Royal Bengal Tiger with their heavy black stripes on their orange fur. They weigh around 75-140 kgs and are as long as 7 feet. The island of Sumatra is said to be the home for the remaining 400 tigers. These Tigers are at the brink of extinction given that the rate of deforestation is ever increasing and the loss of habitat is accountable as well.
With the ever increasing demand of leather and animal based products, it is inevitable to stop poaching of such rare beauties. Given that this year has given us a lot of tragic and heart breaking moments it could also turn out to be the year where these animals could possibly go extinct.
Given the numbers of individuals of these species it is hard to predict their future. If humans could stop the use of animal based products then maybe these rare and critically endangered species might have a shot. Let’s hope for the best.!