According to current U.S. census estimates, the human population is rising rapidly, touching almost 6.4 billion people worldwide and this is bad news for the animal population. Expanding cities, industrial infrastructure, urban lifestyles have driven energy and food needs to dangerous levels which if not controlled will destroy the natural habitats of these animals. We will lose these precious species as they are on the brink of extinction. The World Wildlife Federation estimates the following 10 species to be the top 10 endangered ones.
1. Black Rhino
Mainly seen in Eastern and Southern Africa, the population of the Black Rhino has gone down by 90% since 1970 and now numbers just 3000. This animal species is killed mainly for their horns. Although a ban has been imposed on its hunting, poaching continues because of the huge requirement for Rhino parts in several countries.
2. Giant Panda
Native to China, this rare animal also faces the threat of extinction. There are only 1,000 Pandas remaining in their natural habitat of China. Widespread poaching and the loss of its natural settings are the main reasons for the decline of Panda population.
Tigers and their subspecies, which are largely found in the temperate regions such as Russian Far East and the tropical regions in Southeast Asia, are facing a deadly future. Owing to medicinal value of tiger bones in traditional Asian medicine and the high price fetched by tiger skin and other body parts, these animals have been reduced to just 6,000 due to poaching.
4. Beluga Sturgeon
Native to the Caspian Sea, Beluga Sturgeon are known the world over for its highly valued caviar. Hence, the high prices fetched by the “pearl-like” caviar of these fishes and the excessive demand has influenced poaching and too much fishing in the Caspian. Only strict regulation of the caviar trade by the governing bodies can save them.
Found in the North American hard wood forests, Goldenseal is a herb in huge demand across the world due to its natural healing properties. The ability to cure common ailments such as allergies and hemorrhoids has made it a favorite of naturopaths.
6. Alligator Snapping Turtle
Alligator snapping turtles are the largest fresh water turtles found in North America which now face total extinction. They are hunted by dealers and trappers for its rich quality meat. Large shipments of its meat to Asia are another reason for their shrinking population.
7. Hawksbill Turtles
Owing to their low rates of reproduction and high amount of illegal trade, Hawksbill Turtles have become very vulnerable. This turtle species has been poached owing to the huge popularity for its radiant “tortoise shell.”
8. Big Leaf Mahogany
The soaring demand for the dark wood of the Big Leaf Mahogany has led to large scale cutting down of these trees as a result of which they are disappearing at an unbelievable rate. These trees can be mainly found in the tropical forests of Amazon Basin and Mexico.
9. Green-Cheeked Parrot
Native to Mexico, the Green-Cheeked Parrot has come down in numbers significantly because of the large U.S demand for these colorful pet birds. These birds are still being traded illegally across borders in spite of prohibition..
10. Mako Shark
Highly in demand for its delicious meat, the Mako Shark is also hunted because of the use of its fins for medicinal purposes. After removing their prized fins, the species are callously left to die and thereby face extinction.