13 Aug 5 Adorable & Rare Land-Dwelling Animals that Almost Extinct (Part 2)
This article showcase yet another list of land-dwelling animals that almost extinct out of existence. Continuing the previous article, we gave you another animals that might go extinct due to reasons such as the loss of natural habitat, loss of genetic variation, slow breeding rate, pollution, and being hunted by humans. In this part we will introduce you to another 5 animals who’s in the brink of extinction. If you missed the first part, you can visit the previous article with a link that we’ll provide, you’ll find it as you read.
Gorillas are giant primates that shares about 98.3% of their DNA with humans, capable of feeling emotions like we do and even behave like us sometimes. There are two species of this animal, the Eastern Gorilla and the Western Gorilla, and both has two sub-species. 3 out of 4 species are Critically Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, confirming their identity as animals that almost extinct. The species that we use as example here is Cross river gorilla and eastern lowland gorilla.
There are only around 150 to 180 adult Cross River Gorillas left in the wilderness, their decline is mostly due to poaching, habitat loss, disease, and human conflict. Their low birthrate doesn’t help either, their females only give birth every 4-6 years and will breed 3-4 times in her lifetime. On the eastern side, we have the eastern lowland gorilla, found in the lowland tropical rainforests, mostly in Congo. They’re one of those animals that almost extinct due to human acticities, like the illegal mining of gold, tin, diamonds, alloy, and coltan.
2. Amur Leopard
Amur Leaopard is the most endangered big cats out there, feline animals that almost extinct. They are a leopard sub-species that lives in the region of southeast Russia and northern China. This animal made it to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and it is now estimated to be less than 70 in it’s natural habitat. Amur leopards are critically endangered due to illegal wildlife hunt and trade, specifically being poached for their beautiful fur, humans are their biggest threat, taking their skin as a trophy and their bone for a traditional Asian medicine.
Their habitat is also shrinking in size due to natural and human-made fires. Climate change also did a number to their habitat, reducing it’s size and amor leopard’s prey availability (deer, boar, badgers, hares, birds, mice). If there’s no poachers in the wild, amur leopards can live up to 10-15 years (bonus 5 years in human care). They are animals that almost extinct, so the government of Russia with a help of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has built Land of the Leopard National Park to conserve amur leopards, Extending nearly 650,000 acres.
Apparently, amur leopard’s distant cousin which is snow leopards is also on the list of animals that almost extinct. It was explained in the first part of the article, if you missed it, you can click: Adorable and Rare Land-Dwelling Animal that Almost Extinct, There are 5 of Them Here
In April 2012, the Australian Government declared the koala as “vulnerable”, in the verge of critically endangered Koalas are in serious decline as they suffer from the effects of habitat destruction, domestic dog attacks, bushfires and road accidents. The Australian Koala Foundation estimates that there are around 43,000 koalas left in the wild. After the devastating Australian bushfire in 2019-2020, koalas has lost a large portion of their habitat, and many of them didn’t survive the fire, another deforestation they shall be animals that almost extinct.
The Australian bushfire has taken away 10 million hectares of their natural habitat, and about 10,000 animals, including koalas, perished in the blazes and the preceding drought. the status of koalas hit the vulnerable list in 2012, the government committed to creating a recovery plan. However, considering the aformentioned bushfire, their endangerment status might be upgraded from vulnerable into critically endangered, just like what Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley said.
4. Giant Panda
Giant panda has been known as animals that almost extinct, even though that have no natural predators, it was known to be endangered for their slow birthrate. The national treasure of China, giant pandas live mainly in forests high in the mountains of southwest China, where they subsist almost entirely on bamboo (they must eat around 26 to 84 pounds of it every day). Female panda can grow up to about 200 pounds, while the males can grow up to about 300 pounds as adults. Good news is, their status went from endangered to vulnerable.
The classification was downgraded as their number in the wild has reached 1,800. Expert says that China managed to conserve giant panda through long-term conservation efforts, including the expansion of habitats. Also, thanks to Chinese efforts to recreate and repopulate bamboo forests, giant pandas has bigger chance of survival, after all, bamboo makes up some 99% of their diet, without which they are likely to starve. With this in mind, we can hope for giant panda to escape the group of animals that almost extinct.
5. Red Panda
Although they both share the same name, giant panda and red panda are not closely related. The name “panda” believed to come from Nepali word “ponya”, which means “bamboo eater”. Almost 50% of the red panda’s habitat is in the forest of Eastern Himalayas. They are one of the animals that almost extinct because of climate change, leaving impact to less than 10,000 red pandas left in the wild. Thanks to climate change, The loss of nesting trees and bamboo is inevitable and causing a decline in red panda populations.
It’s not much, but human are also responsible in some cases. Red pandas are often accidentally killed when they get caught in traps meant for wild boar and deer. A couple of poachers in China and Myanmar hunt red pandas for their distinctive pelts. A comprehensive genetic study is done in 2020, and it revealed that Chinese red pandas and Himalayan red pandas were two separate species. Although, both in China and Himalaya, red pandas still has to deal with destroyed habitat and poachers making the one of the animals that almost extinct.
Now that you have read this far, perhaps you’re more interested in the conservation of wildlife. If you do, perhaps you can check the official Web Site of World Wildlife Fund (WWF), as their interest is to preserve wildlife the best they can.