Save animals

Sir lanka Elephants taking a bath
Photograph by Johan Kleine.

This page is built for educational reason and for exploration on how to save animals around the world. Many animals are getting endangered and we humans are a big factor to that. This page offer you short information on different endangered animals. If you feel like reading more about them or help by donating, you will find many good links here too. The information you find on this page is collected from nature programs or facts that I have learned during my lifetime. The rest I have collected from wikipedia.

From now on every month a new endangered animal will appear on this page, if you want to give me tips on animals or web pages feel free to e-mail me. Im glad for all the help I can get.

I hope you find what you seek and lets start to save animals.




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siberian tiger cub biting her mothers ear
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Save Tiger

There is only 3000-3500 of this majestic animal left in our world today. People are trying hard to save it and a project in northern india of a "breeding passage" are one of the big help project going on just now to save the tiger.

Historically, tigers have been hunted at a large scale so their famous striped skins could be collected. But many people in China and other parts of Asia have a belief that various tiger parts have medicinal properties, including as pain killers and aphrodisiacs. There is no scientific evidence to support these beliefs. The use of tiger parts in pharmaceutical drugs in China is already banned, and the government has made some offenses in connection with tiger poaching punishable by death.

The tiger is the biggest cat animal on our planet and soon it will be extinct. We humans need to change our thinking about what we do to our own planet that we share with so many animals.

bullshark swimming in clear water
Photograph by Brian J. Skerry.
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Save Sharks

Many sharks are being slaughtered every year so people can eat shark fin soup. The sharks fins are cut off and then they let the sharks float down to the ocean bottom and die. Sharks also have a bad reputation for killing humans but infact more people are getting hit by lightning every year than being killed by sharks.

People are sometimes getting attacked by sharks and often it's because they think we are seals or just curious on what we are. You have probably meet a dog in your life and then you should now that the feel with there mouth to. Many have heard about the dangerous great white shark but infact the shark that are most involved with shark accidents are the bullshark. The bull shark are on of few sharks that can swim in freshwater and therefore gets in contact with humans that lives around rivers. Many poor indians are getting in contact with this shark and many accidents are not getting reported.

This is a top pretator and it's crucial for the oceans ecosystem that they still are free to roam the oceans. Without them the oceans will collapse. And if you take some time and just look at this magnificent animal you will soon see how glorious and well made it is. Remember it have lived on earth many more years than we humans.

rhino and her child
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Save Rhino

Rhino is short for Rhinoceros. Rhinoceros are characterized by their large size and they generally eat leafy material, although their ability to ferment food in their hindgut allows them to subsist on more fibrous plant matter, if necessary. There are five diffrent kinds of rhinoceros, white rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, indian rhinoceros, javan rhinoceros, sumatran rhinoceros but they have all one thing in common they are all being killed by humans.

Rhinoceros are killed by humans for their horns, which are bought and sold on the black market, and which are used by some cultures for ornamental or (pseudo-scientific) medicinal purposes. The horns are made of keratin, the same type of protein that makes up hair and fingernails. Both African species and the Sumatran rhinoceros have two horns, while the Indian and Javan rhinoceros have a single horn.

Rhinoceros horns, unlike those of other horned mammals (which have a bony core), only consist of keratin. Rhinoceros horns are used in traditional Asian medicine, and for dagger handles in Yemen and Oman. To prevent poaching, in certain areas, rhinos have been tranquilized and their horns removed. Armed park rangers, particularly in South Africa, are also working on the front lines to combat poaching, sometimes killing poachers who are caught in the act. A recent spike in rhino killings has made conservationaists concerned about the future of rhino species. During 2011 448 rhino were killed for their horn in South Africa alone. The horn is incredibly valuable: an average sized horn can bring in much as a quarter of a million dollars in Vietnam and many rhino range States have stockpiles of rhino horn. Still, poaching is hitting record levels due to demands from China and Vietnam.

elephant on the savann in Tanzania
Photograph by Johan kleine

Save Elephant

Elephants are the largest living land animals on Earth today. There are two types of elephant, the Indian and the African. The African elephant are the larger of the two and its ears are bigger. In Asian elephants, only males have tusks, but both males and females of African elephants have tusks and are usually less hairy than their Asian cousins.

The threat to the African elephant presented by the ivory trade is unique to the species. Larger, long-lived, slow-breeding animals, like the elephant, are more susceptible to overhunting than other animals. They cannot hide, and it takes many years for an elephant to grow and reproduce. The Asian elephants' decline has possibly been more gradual than the African and caused primarily by poaching and habitat destruction by human encroachment.

Elephant hunting, both legal and illegal, has also had some unexpected consequences on elephant anatomy. African ivory hunters, by killing only tusked elephants, have given a much larger chance of mating to elephants with small tusks or no tusks at all. The propagation of the absent-tusk gene has resulted in the birth of large numbers of tuskless elephants, now approaching 30% in some populations. Tusklessness, once a rare genetic abnormality, has become a widespread hereditary trait.

Another threat to elephants' survival in general is the ongoing cultivation of their habitats with increasing risk of conflicts of interest with human cohabitants. These conflicts kill 150 elephants and up to 100 people per year in Sri Lanka. The Asian elephants' demise can be attributed mostly to loss of its habitat. For African elephants, a technique was introduced successfully in 2011 that largely prevented savannah elephants from raiding farmers' croplands. Beehive fences were put around farming areas scaring the elephants away from the areas and providing the farmers with an additional source of income. Some farmers also mix elephant poo and chili to a brick and dry it. Then the put it on fire and the elephant runs away from the farmers crop becouse of the smell.

Chimpanzee sitting in the grass
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There are three monkeys that are members of the Hominidae family, chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas.

Save Chimpanzee

Research by Mary-Claire King in 1973 found 99% identical DNA between human beings and chimpanzees, although research since has modified that finding to about 94% commonality, with some of the difference occurring in noncoding DNA. Chimpanzees live in large multiple-male and multiple-female social groups called communities. Within a community, a definite social hierarchy is dictated by the position of an individual and the influence the individual has on others. Chimpanzees live in a leaner hierarchy in which more than one individual may be dominant enough to dominate other members of lower rank.

Chimpanzees make tools and use them to acquire foods and for social displays. They have sophisticated hunting strategies requiring cooperation, influence and rank, they are status conscious, manipulative and capable of deception. They can learn to use symbols and understand aspects of human language including some relational syntax, concepts of number and numerical sequence and they are capable of spontaneous planning for a future state or event.

The primary threats to chimpanzees are habitat destruction, hunting, and disease. The increasing human population is encroaching ever deeper into even protected areas of chimpanzee habitats, and large scale logging is now a major threat to the forest primates of Africa. Subsistence hunting of chimpanzees as a source of meat is nothing new, but there is now a thriving but unsustainable commercial market for bushmeat, including chimpanzees. Increased contact with humans, both local people and eco-tourists, has also brought the threat of diseases which may be mild in humans but lethal to chimps.

Save Orangutan

closeup of a old orangutan sitting in the grass
Author Kabir Bakie
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Orangutans are the most arboreal great apes and spend most of their time in trees. Their hair is typically reddish-brown, instead of the brown or black hair typical of chimpanzees and gorillas. Males and females differ in size and appearance. Dominant adult males have distinctive cheek pads and produce long calls that attract females and intimidate rivals. Younger males do not have these characteristics and resemble adult females. Orangutans are the most solitary of the great apes, with social bonds occurring primarily between mothers and their dependent offspring, who stay together for the first two years. Fruit is the most important component of an orangutan's diet, however, the apes will also eat vegetation, bark, honey, insects and even bird eggs. They can live over 30 years in both the wild and captivity.

Orangutans live a more solitary lifestyle than the other great apes. Orangutans build nests specialized for both day or night use. These are carefully constructed. Young orangutans learn from observing their mother's nest-building behaviour. In fact, nest-building is a leading cause in young orangutans leaving their mother for the first time. From six months of age onwards, orangutans practice nest-building and gain proficiency by the time they are three years old

The Sumatran species is critically endangered and the Bornean species is endangered according to the IUCN Red List of mammals. The Bornean orangutan population declined by 50% in the past 60 years. The largest remaining population is found in the forest around the Sabangau River, but this environment is at risk. Sumatran orangutan populations declined by 80% in 75 years. This species is now found only in the northern part of Sumatra, with most of the population inhabiting the Leuser Ecosystem.

During the early 2000s, orangutan habitat has decreased rapidly due to logging and forest fires, as well as fragmentation by roads. A major factor in that period of time has been the conversion of vast areas of tropical forest to oil palm plantations in response to international demand. There is also a major problem with hunting and the illegal pet trade. Orangutans may be killed for the bushmeat trade, crop protection or for use for traditional medicine. Orangutan bones are secretly traded in souvenir shops in several cities in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Mother orangutans are killed so their infants can be sold as pets, and many of these infants die without the help of their mother.

Save Gorilla

a gorilla silverback on a stone
Author Brocken Inaglory
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Gorillas are ground-dwelling, predominantly herbivorous apes that inhabit the forests of central Africa. A gorilla's day is synchronized, divided between rest periods and travel or feeding periods. Diets differ between and within species. Mountain gorillas mostly eat foliage, such as leaves, stems, pith, and shoots, while fruit makes up a very small part of their diets. They primarily eat bamboo. Gorillas rarely drink water "because they consume succulent vegetation that is comprised of almost half water as well as morning dew", although both mountain and lowland gorillas have been observed drinking.

Gorillas live in groups called troops. Troops tend to be made of one adult male or silverback, multiple adult females and their offspring. However, multiple-male troops also exist. A silverback is typically more than 12 years of age, and is named for the distinctive patch of silver hair on its back, which comes with maturity. Silverbacks also have large canine teeth which also come with maturity.

The eastern gorilla is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List, with the mountain gorilla listed as Critically Endangered. The western gorilla and its subspecies are also listed as Critically Endangered. Threats to gorilla survival include habitat destruction and poaching for the bushmeat trade. In 2004, a population of several hundred gorillas in the Odzala National Park, Republic of Congo was essentially wiped out by the Ebola virus. A 2006 study published in Science concluded more than 5,000 gorillas may have died in recent outbreaks of the Ebola virus in central Africa. The researchers indicated in conjunction with commercial hunting of these apes, the virus creates "a recipe for rapid ecological extinction.

leatherback swiming in the blue ocean
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Save Sea Turtle

Most species of sea turtle are endangered. Globally, the Kemp's ridley, hawksbill, and leatherback sea turtles are listed as "Critically Endangered", the loggerhead and green as "Endangered", the olive ridley as "Vulnerable" and the flatback as "Data Deficient", meaning that its conservation status is unclear due to lack of data.

One of the most significant threats now comes from bycatch due to imprecise fishing methods. Long-lining has been identified as a major cause of accidental sea turtle death. There is also black-market demand for tortoiseshell for both decoration and supposed health benefits. Sea turtles must surface to breathe. Caught in a fisherman's net, they are unable to surface and thus drown. In early 2007, almost a thousand sea turtles were killed inadvertently in the Bay of Bengal over the course of a few months after netting.

Beach development is another area which threatens sea turtles. The demand of tourist who want to sunbath is a big problem for the sea turtles. The turtle and the tourist compete of the sea turtles natural breathing ground. Eggs that have been dug down can be crushed by the tourists and the littre from the tourist like a plastic bag can easelly be mistake of a jellyfish by the sea turtles. The plastic bag is a death trap for turtles and get stuck in the stomac.

Since hatchlings find their way to the ocean by crawling towards the brightest horizon, they can become disoriented on developed stretches of coastline. Lighting restrictions can prevent lights from shining on the beach and confusing hatchlings. Sea turtle-safe lighting uses red or amber LED light, invisible to sea turtles, in place of white light.

Climate change may also cause a threat to sea turtles. Since sand temperature at nesting beaches defines the sex of a sea turtle while developing in the egg, there is concern that rising temperatures may produce too many females.

alligator Snapping Turtle on white floor
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It's not only the sea turtles that are endangered, the alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) is one of the largest freshwater turtles in the world. Due to the exotic pet trade and habitat destruction the species has become protected by states, and is considered a threatened species. This endangerment brought it to Asia and Europe with a breeding/research center found in Japan.

The alligator snapping turtle is primarily vulnerable to humans from habitat loss and hunting. Some are hunted for their carapaces; the plastron of the turtle is valued because of its shape as a cross. There are accounts of large (50+ lb) turtles being caught both purposely and accidentally on recreational fishing lines called "trot lines." Abandoned trot lines are thought to be even more dangerous to turtles. Soup made from snapping turtle meat is considered by some to be a delicacy.

panda sleeping on a branch
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Save Panda

The panda also known as the giant panda to distinguish it from the unrelated red panda, is a bear native to central-western and south western China. It is easily recognized by its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the panda's diet is 99% bamboo.

The panda is a conservation reliant endangered species. A 2007 report shows 239 pandas living in captivity inside China and another 27 outside the country. Wild population estimates vary one estimate shows that there are about 1,590 individuals living in the wild, while a 2006 study via DNA analysis estimated that this figure could be as high as 2,000 to 3,000. Some reports also show that the number of pandas in the wild is on the rise. However, the IUCN does not believe there is enough certainty yet to reclassify the species from Endangered to Vulnerable.

The giant panda is an endangered species, threatened by continued habitat loss and by a very low birthrate, both in the wild and in captivity. The giant panda has been a target for poaching by locals since ancient times and by foreigners since it was introduced to the West, it was the main source of soft furs for the locals. Many believed the best way to save the pandas was to cage them. As a result, pandas were caged at any sign of decline, and suffered from terrible conditions. Because of pollution and destruction of their natural habitat, along with segregation caused by caging, reproduction of wild pandas was severely limited. In the 1990s, however, several laws (including gun control and the removal of resident humans from the reserves) helped their chances of survival. With these renewed efforts and improved conservation methods, wild pandas have started to increase in numbers in some areas, though they still are classified as a rare species.

a polar bear and its cub on the cold ice
Author Alan D. Wilson
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Save Polar bear

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is a bear native largely within the Arctic Circle encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is the world's largest land carnivore and also the largest bear. A boar (adult male) weighs around 350–680 kg, while a sow (adult female) is about half that size. It is adapted for cold temperatures, for moving across snow, ice, and open water, and for hunting the seals which make up most of its diet. Although most polar bears are born on land, they spend most of their time at sea. Their scientific name means "maritime bear", and derives from this fact. Polar bears can hunt their preferred food of seals from the edge of sea ice, often living off fat reserves when no sea ice is present.

The polar bear is classified as a vulnerable species, with eight of the nineteen polar bear subpopulations in decline. For decades, large scale hunting raised international concern for the future of the species but populations rebounded after controls and quotas began to take effect. Of the 19 recognized polar bear subpopulations, eight are declining, three are stable, one is increasing, and seven have insufficient data, as of 2009.

IUCN cited a "suspected population reduction of >30% within three generations (45 years)", due primarily to climate change. The key danger posed by climate change is malnutrition or starvation due to habitat loss. Polar bears hunt seals from a platform of sea ice. Rising temperatures cause the sea ice to melt earlier in the year, driving the bears to shore before they have built sufficient fat reserves to survive the period of scarce food in the late summer and early fall. Reduction in sea-ice cover also forces bears to swim longer distances, which further depletes their energy stores and occasionally leads to drowning. Thinner sea ice tends to deform more easily, which appears to make it more difficult for polar bears to access seals. Insufficient nourishment leads to lower reproductive rates in adult females and lower survival rates in cubs and juvenile bears, in addition to poorer body condition in bears of all ages.

Amur leopard running in snow
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Save Amur leopard

The Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is a leopard subspecies native to the Primorye region of southeastern Russia, and is classified as Critically Endangered since 1996 by IUCN. Only 14–20 adults and 5–6 cubs were counted in a census in 2007, with a total of 19 to 26 Amur leopards extant. The amur leopard is a big cat but its not that big compared to other big cats. The males weight range from 32.2–48 kg, and females from 25–42.5 kg.

Amur leopards are threatened by poaching, encroaching civilization, new roads, exploitation of forests and climate change. Poaching of leopards forms a main threat for the leopards' survival. In 14 months from February 2002 to April 2003, seven skins or part of skins were confiscated, six in Russia and one in China. Leopards are most often killed by local Russians from small villages in and around the leopard habitat. Human induced fires is also a main threat to the survival of the Amur leopard. Surveys using satellite images and GIS techniques revealed that on average 19% of south-west Primorye burns annually, and a total of 46% burned at least once during the six years. These frequent fires cause degradation of suitable leopard habitat into unsuitable habitat. Repeated fires have created open "savannah" landscapes that leopards seem to avoid, again probably because of low ungulate densities. An acute problem is potential inbreeding, and that the remaining population could disappear as a result of genetic degeneration, even without direct human influence. The levels of diversity are remarkably low, indicative of a history of inbreeding in the population for several generations.

Amur leopard cub laying down
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Since 1996 the idea of reintroducing leopards in the south of Sikhote Alin has been discussed by ALTA members. During a workshop in 2001 the outlines and principles of a plan for the development of a second population of Amur leopard in the Russian Far East was prepared. In March 2009 the Minister of Natural Resources of Russia during his meeting with Vladimir Putin reassured that the ministry is planning to introduce new "imported" Amur leopards into the area and creating suitable and safe habitat for them. The government already allocated all required funds for the project.

North Atlantic Right Whale mother and calf
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Save Northern right whale

The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis, which means "good, or true, whale of the ice"), is a baleen whale. With only 400 in existence, North Atlantic right whales are among the most endangered whales in the world. They are protected under the US Endangered Species Act of 1973 and the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Vessel strikes and entanglement in fixed fishing gear are the two greatest threats to their recovery.

Right whales were so-named because whalers thought they were the "right" whale to hunt. As the "right" whale continued to float long after being killed, which made it possible to 'flech' or strip the whale of blubber without having to take it onboard ship. Combined with the right whale's lack of speed through water, feeding habits, and coastal habitat, they were easy to catch, even for whalers equipped only with wooden boats and hand-held harpoons.

The single greatest danger to this species is injury sustained from ship strikes. Between 1970 and October 2006, 37% of all recorded North Atlantic right whale deaths were attributed to collisions. In 2002, the International Maritime Organization shifted the location of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS, i.e. shipping lanes) in the Bay of Fundy (and approaches) from an area with the highest density of North Atlantic right whales to an area of lower density. This was the first time the IMO had changed a TSS to help protect marine mammals.

A close up on shoebill face
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Save Shoebill

The Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) also known as Whalehead or Shoe-billed Stork, is a very large stork-like bird. It derives its name from its massive shoe-shaped bill. Although it has a somewhat stork-like overall form and has previously been classified in the order Ciconiiformes, its true affiliations with other living birds is ambiguous. It lives in tropical east Africa in large swamps from Sudan to Zambia. The Shoebill is a tall bird, with a typical height range of 110 to 140 cm and some specimens reaching as much as 150 cm. Its wingspan is 230 to 260 cm and weight has reportedly ranged from 4 to 7 kg.

The population is estimated at between 5,000 and 8,000 individuals, the majority of which live in swamps in Sudan, Uganda, eastern Zaire, and Zambia. BirdLife International have classified it as Vulnerable with the main threats being habitat destruction, disturbance and hunting. The small population is declining due to habitat destruction and degradation, nest disturbance, increased hunting levels and capture for the bird trade. Fire and drought threaten habitat in Zambia, nests are trampled by large herbivores feeding in swamps, and there is some evidence for trapping and persecution.

Saimaa ringed seal on a rock
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Save Saimaa ringed seal

The Saimaa ringed seal (Pusa hispida saimensis) is a subspecies of ringed seal (Pusa hispida). They are among the most endangered seals in the world, having a total population of only about 260 individuals. The only existing population of these seals is found in Lake Saimaa, Finland (hence the name). The population is descended from ringed seals that were separated from the rest when the land rose after the last ice age. This seal, along with the Ladoga Seal and the Baikal Seal, is one of the few living freshwater seals.

The Saimaa ringed seal has been protected since 1955. In 1983, the population was between 100 and 150 seals. In 2005, it was about 270, but as a result of two unfavorable breeding seasons, 2006 and 2007, the number is now down to 260. It is thought that the immediate threat of extinction would be alleviated if the population grew to over 400 individuals. It is listed as endangered by the U.S. government under the Endangered Species Act.

In order to protect the Saimaa ringed seal, there are voluntary fisheries restrictions in a part of their living areas. The most important form of restriction is a ban for fishing nets from April 15 to the end of June in about 15% of the lake, nearly all fishing is recreational. Bycatch mortality has, however, remained high with estimated mortality of 20–30 seals annually, most of them pups of the same year.

Chinese giant salamander being held by a human
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Save Chinese giant salamander

The Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus) is the largest salamander and largest amphibian in the world, reaching a length of 180 cm, although it rarely – if ever – reaches that size today. Endemic to rocky mountain streams and lakes in China, it is considered critically endangered due to habitat loss, pollution, and over-collecting, as it is considered a delicacy and used in folk medicine. Records from Taiwan may be the results of introductions. It has been listed as one of the top-10 "focal species" in the year 2008 by the EDGE project.

In the past, the populous Chinese giant salamander Andrias davidianus lived along the Yangtze, Yellow, and Pearl Rivers, eighteen provinces in China, and the city of Chongqing. However, since the 1950s, the population has declined rapidly because of habitat destruction and overhunting. The Chinese giant salamander has been listed as Critically Endangered in the Chinese Red Book of Amphibians and Reptiles. Despite the Chinese Government listing the salamander as a Class II Protected Species, 100 salamanders are hunted illegally every year in the Hupingshan Natural Reserve alone. Prior to the 1980s, Chinese giant salamanders were abundant and easily found. Today, when researchers search for salamanders, their attempts are fruitless. The Chinese giant salamander is on the verge of extinction, but many provinces still purchase thousands of salamanders for consumption. Also, despite the fourteen nature reserves, populations are still declining, with salamanders becoming harder and harder to find.

Asiatic Cheetah walking in iran dessert
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Save Cheetah

The Asiatic Cheetah is now also known as the Iranian Cheetah, as the world's last few are known to survive mostly in Iran. Although recently presumed to be extinct in India, it is also known as the Indian Cheetah. The Asiatic Cheetah is a critically endangered subspecies of the Cheetah found today only in Iran, with some occasional sightings in Balochistan, Pakistan. It lives in its vast central desert in fragmented pieces of remaining suitable habitat. Although once common, the animal was driven to extinction in other parts of Southwest Asia from Arabia to India including Afghanistan. Estimates based on field surveys over ten years indicate a remaining population of 70 to 100 Asiatic Cheetahs, most of them in Iran.

Following the Iranian Revolution of 1979, wildlife conservation was given a lower priority. The Asiatic Cheetah and its principal prey, gazelles, were hunted, resulting in a rapid decline. Its prey was also pushed out as herders entered game reserves with their herds. As a result, the Asiatic Cheetah is now listed as critically endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals.

Land-use change has been a major factor in the Cheetah's ecosystem. Persecution, habitat degradation and fragmentation, desertification, and direct killing of wildlife that the Cheetah preys upon, particularly game animals and off-take for commercial uses through poaching are all factors responsible for the chronic decline of the Cheetah in Iran. Mining of coal, opium, and iron is also happening in the Cheetah's habitat. Mining itself is not a direct threat to Cheetahs, but road construction and the resulting traffic have made the Cheetah accessible to humans, including poachers.

The African cheetah is also listed as endangered, approximately 12,400 cheetahs remain in the wild in twenty-five African countries. Cheetah cubs have a high mortality rate due to predation by other carnivores, such as the lion and hyena, and perhaps genetic factors. Both The Cheetah Conservation Fund's in Namibia and The South African Cheetah Conservation Foundation are working hard to save the cheetah.

Two blue throated macaws on a branch
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Save Blue throated Macaw

The Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis; previously Ara caninde) is a macaw endemic to a small area of north-central Bolivia, Brazil known as Los Llanos de Moxos. Recent population and range estimates suggests that about 100-150 individuals remain in the wild. The main causes of their demise is capture for the pet trade and land clearance on cattle ranches. It is currently considered critically endangered and the parrot is protected by trading prohibitions.

The Deep-throated Macaw is about 85 cm long including the length of its tail feathers, and weighs about 750 g. It has vivid colours with turquoise-blue wings and tail, and bright yellow underparts and blue undertail coverts. The throat is blue and continuous with its blue cheeks. It has a large black bill. Bare skin at the base of the beak is pink and pale bare skin on the sides of the face is partly covered with lines of small dark blue feathers. It lives in the savanna of the Beni Department of Bolivia, nesting in "Islas" (islands) of palm trees that dot the level plains. It is not a forest dwelling bird. This species has a very small population and is on the verge of extinction in the wild. It is listed on the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered.

red wolf standing in the snow
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Save Red Wolf

The red wolf is a North American canid which once roamed throughout the Southeastern United States. Historical habitats included forests, swamps, and coastal prairies, where it was an apex predator. The red wolf is morphologically midway between grey wolves and coyotes, and recent genetic research indicates it may actually be a hybrid species. The red wolf was thought to be extinct in the wild by 1980. 1987 saw a reintroduction in northeastern North Carolina through a captive breeding program and the animals are considered to be successfully breeding in the wild.

In 2007, the US Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that there were 300 red wolves remaining in the world, with 207 of those in captivity.

According to the latest Red Wolf Recovery Program First Quarter Report (October–December 2010), the US Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that there are currently 110-130 red wolves in the Red Wolf Recovery Area in North Carolina, however, since not all of the newly bred in the wild red wolves have radio collars, they can only confirm a total of 70 "known" individuals, 26 packs, 11 breeding pairs, and 9 additional individuals not associated with a pack.

Interbreeding with the coyote has been recognized as a threat affecting the restoration of red wolves. Currently, adaptive management efforts are making progress in reducing the threat of coyotes to the red wolf population in northeastern North Carolina. Other threats, such as habitat fragmentation, disease, and anthropogenic mortality, are of concern in the restoration of red wolves. Efforts to reduce the threats are presently being explored.

Iberian lynx lying in the grass
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Save Iberian lynx

The Iberian lynx is a critically endangered species of felid native to the Iberian Peninsula in Southern Europe. It is one of the most endangered cat species in the world. According to the conservation group SOS Lynx, if the Iberian lynx died out, it would be the first feline species to become extinct since prehistoric times. The species was formerly classified as a subspecies of the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), but is now considered a separate species. Both species occurred together in central Europe in the Pleistocene epoch, being separated by habitat choice. The Iberian lynx is believed to have evolved from Lynx issiodorensis.

Studies conducted in March 2005 estimated the number of surviving Iberian lynx to be as few as 100, down from about 400 in 2000 and down from 4,000 in 1960. If the Iberian lynx were to become extinct, it would be the first big cat species to do so since Smilodon populator 10,000 years ago. The only breeding populations are in Spain, and were thought to be only living in the Doñana National Park and in the Sierra de Andújar, Jaén. However, in 2007, Spanish authorities announced that they had discovered a previously unknown population in Castile-La Mancha (central Spain). It was later announced that there were around 15 individuals there.

The Iberian lynx and its habitat are fully protected, and they are no longer legally hunted. Its critical status is mainly due to habitat loss, poisoning, road casualties, feral dogs and poaching. Its habitat loss is due mainly to infrastructure improvement, urban and resort development and tree monocultivation, which serves to break the lynx's distribution area. In addition, the lynx prey population of rabbits is also declining due to diseases such as myxomatosis and hemorrhagic pneumonia.

a close up on a snow leopard head
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Save Snow leopard

The snow leopard (Panthera uncia or Uncia uncia) is a moderately large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central Asia. It is listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as globally Endangered. The snow leopards occupy alpine and subalpine areas generally 3,350 and 6,700 metres above sea level in Central Asia. It´s estimated population is 4,080–6,590. However, the global snow leopard effective population size (those likely to reproduce) is suspected to be fewer than 2,500 (50% of the total population, or 2,040–3,295). Snow leopards are slightly smaller than the other big cats but, like them, exhibit a range of sizes, generally weighing between 27 and 55 kg.

There are numerous agencies working to conserve the snow leopard and its threatened mountain ecosystems. These include the Snow Leopard Trust, the Snow Leopard Conservancy, the Snow Leopard Network, the Cat Specialist Group and the Panthera Corporation. These groups and numerous national governments from the snow leopard’s range, non-profits and donors from around the world recently worked together at the 10th International Snow Leopard Conference in Beijing. Their focus on research, community programs in snow leopard regions and education programs are aimed at understanding the cat's needs as well as the needs of the villagers and herder communities affecting snow leopards' lives and habitat.

european sturgeon head from underneath
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Save European sturgeon

The Atlantic or the European Sturgeon, also known as the baltic sturgeon or common sturgeon, is a species of sturgeon found on most coasts of Europe. It is currently a critically endangered species.

This sturgeon typically measures from 1 to 2 meters in length, though some can reach up to 3.5 meters. Average weight is roughly 150 kg, although they can weigh up to 315 kg. They have a late sexual maturity (12 to 14 years for the males and 16 to 18 years for the females) and can live to 40 years of age. They are found on the coasts of Europe, except the Black Sea and have even been known to cross the Atlantic Ocean to the coasts of North America. Like many other sturgeons, they spawn in the rivers off the coast. Despite their estimated range of distribution, they have become so rare that they only breed in the Garonne river basin in France. At the beginning of the 19th century, these fish were used extensively to produce caviar, but have been a protected species in Europe since 1982.

Golden lancehead vipers head
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Save Golden lancehead viper

Bothrops insularis, commonly known as the golden lancehead, is a venomous pitviper species found only on Ilha da Queimada Grande, off the coast of São Paulo state, in Brazil. The species is named for the light yellowish brown color of its underside and for its head shape which is characteristic of the genus Bothrops. The golden lancehead grows to an average total length of 70 cm, although its maximum total length is known to reach at least 118 cm.

The name "lancehead" refers to the distinctive head shape of all snakes in the genus Bothrops, which is somewhat elongated and comes to a point at the nose. The golden lancehead also has a longer tail than its closest relative, B. jararaca, which is most likely an adaptation to help the snake maneuver through the trees.

This species is classified as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List and is known to exist at only a single location. Because the island on which the species is found is so small, it can only support a small population, which means that the range between number of snakes required for the population to survive and maximum number of snakes the island can support may be small, making the species especially sensitive to any other problems. Also, because the island of Queimada Grande is the only place where the golden lancehead are found in the wild, if that population is wiped out, then the species will be extinct in the wild.

In the past, the people have deliberately started fires on the island of Queimada Grande in an attempt to kill off the golden lancehead so that the island could be used to grow bananas. The Brazilian Navy has also contributed to habitat destruction by removing vegetation in order to maintain a lighthouse on the island. Another threat is the occurrence of "intersexes", individuals born with both male and female reproductive parts. This comes from a great amount of inbreeding" within the population and explain that the relatively high occurrence of intersexes being born may be harmful to the species population, since most of the intersexes are sterile.

Greater Bamboo Lemur in a tree
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Save Greater Bamboo Lemur

The greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus), also known as the broad-nosed bamboo lemur and the broad-nosed gentle lemur, is the largest bamboo lemur, at over five pounds or nearly 2.5 kilograms. Greater bamboo lemurs live in groups of up to 28. Individuals are extremely gregarious. The species may be the only lemur in which the male is dominant, although this is not certain. Because of their social nature, greater bamboo lemurs have at least seven different calls. Males have been observed taking bamboo pith away from females that had put significant effort into opening the bamboo stems. In captivity, greater bamboo lemurs have lived over the age of 17.

The greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus), is one of the world's most critically endangered primates, according to the IUCN Red List. Scientists believed that it was extinct, but a remnant population was discovered in 1986. Since then, surveys of south- and central eastern Madagascar have found fewer than 75 individuals. The most recent total count is 60 animals in the wild. Other estimates suggest the population may be as high as 100 and 160 individuals left in the wild. The home range of the species is likewise drastically reduced. The current range is less than 4 percent of its historic distribution. Most of the former range is no longer suitable habitat due to this species' dietary specialization on bamboo and its microhabitat preferences. The outlook is dire since areas with critically low population numbers have no official protection, and comprise severely degraded habitat. The species is endangered by the following: slash and burn farming, mining, bamboo and other logging, and slingshot hunting.

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Save Philippine eagle

The Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi), also known as the Monkey-eating Eagle, is an eagle of the family Accipitridae endemic to forests in the Philippines. It has brown and white-coloured plumage, and a shaggy crest, and generally measures 86 to 102 cm in length and weighs 4.7 to 8.0 kilograms. It is considered the largest of the extant eagles in the world in terms of length. It is among the rarest and most powerful[quantify] birds in the world, it has been declared the Philippine national bird. It is critically endangered, mainly due to massive loss of habitat due to deforestation in most of its range. Killing a Philippine Eagle is punishable under Philippine law by 12 years in jail and heavy fines.

The complete breeding cycle of the Philippine Eagle lasts two years. The female matures sexually at five years of age and the male at seven. Like most eagles, the Philippine Eagle is monogamous. Once paired, a couple remains together for the rest of their lives. If one dies, the remaining eagle often searches for a new mate to replace the one lost.

In 2010, the IUCN and BirdLife International listed this species as critically endangered. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature believes between 180 and 500 Philippine Eagles survive in the Philippines. They are threatened primarily by deforestation through logging and expanding agriculture. Old-growth forest is being lost at a high rate, and most of the forest in the lowlands is owned by logging companies. Mining, pollution, exposure to pesticides that affect breeding, and poaching are also major threats. Additionally, they are occasionally caught in traps laid by local people for deer. Though this is no longer a major problem, the eagle's numbers were also reduced by being captured for zoos.

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Save Chinese alligator

The Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) is one of two known living species of Alligator, a genus in the family Alligatoridae. It is native only to eastern China. While its appearance is very similar to the only other living member of the genus, the American alligator, there are a few differences. Usually this species only attains an adult length of 1.5 m and a mass of 36 kg. Unlike the American alligator, the Chinese alligator is fully armored, even the belly is armored, which is a feature of only a few crocodilians.

While it originally ranged through much of China, this species' wild habitat has been reduced to little more than a few ponds containing 100 to 200 individuals along Lake Tai and the lower Yangtze River in the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Anhui. Its population reduction has been mostly due to conversion of its habitat to agricultural use. A majority of their usual wetland habitats have been turned into rice paddies. Poisoning of rats, which the alligators then eat, has also been blamed for their decline. In the past decade, very few wild nests have been found, and even fewer produced viable offspring.

It is IUCN Red Listed as a critically endangered species. Efforts are underway to reintroduce captive-bred animals to suitable wild habitats, but thus far have not met with much success.

A Californian Condor in flight
Photograph by Phil Armitage.
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Save California Condor

The California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus) is a New World vulture, the largest North American land bird. This condor inhabits northern Arizona and southern Utah (including the Grand Canyon area and Zion National Park), coastal mountains of central and southern California, and northern Baja California. Although other fossil members are known, it is the only surviving member of the genus Gymnogyps.

Condor numbers dramatically declined in the 20th century due to poaching, lead poisoning, and habitat destruction. A conservation plan was put in place by the United States government that led to the capture of all 22 remaining wild condors in 1987. These surviving birds were bred at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and the Los Angeles Zoo. Numbers rose through captive breeding and, beginning in 1991, condors have been reintroduced into the wild. The California Condor is one of the world's rarest bird species as of May 2012, population counts put the number of known condors at 405, including 226 living in the wild and 179 in captivity. The condor is a significant bird to many Californian Native American groups and plays an important role in several of their traditional myths.

In modern times, a wide variety of causes have contributed to the condor's decline. Its low clutch size (one young per nest), combined with a late age of sexual maturity, make the bird vulnerable to artificial population decline. Significant damage to the condor population is also attributed to poaching, especially for museum specimens, lead poisoning (from eating animals containing lead shot), DDT poisoning, electric power lines, egg collecting, and habitat destruction. During the California Gold Rush, some condors were even kept as pets. The leading cause of mortality in nestling condors is the ingestion of trash that is fed to them by their parents.

A male lion on the african savahana
Photograph by Johan Kleine.

Save Lion

The lion (Panthera leo) is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Wild lions currently exist in sub-Saharan Africa and in Asia (where an endangered remnant population resides in Gir Forest National Park in India). The lion is a vulnerable species, having seen a major population decline of 30–50% over the past two decades in its African range. Lion populations are untenable outside designated reserves and national parks. Although the cause of the decline is not fully understood, habitat loss and conflicts with humans are currently the greatest causes of concern. Within Africa, the West African lion population is particularly endangered.

The Asiatic Lion or South Asian, Persian, or Indian lion, once was widespread from Turkey, across Southwest Asia, to Pakistan, India, and even to Bangladesh. However, large prides and daylight activity made them easier to poach than tigers or leopards now around 400 exist in and near the Gir Forest of India.

The Barbary lion, originally ranged from Morocco to Egypt. It is extinct in the wild due to excessive hunting, as the last wild Barbary lion was killed in Morocco in 1922. This was one of the largest of the lion subspecies, with reported lengths of 3.0 – 3.3 m and weights of more than 200 kg for males.

Some subspecies of lions still exist today and the most common ones are the West African lion, Masai lion, Katanga lion and the northeast Congo Lion.

Most lions now live in eastern and southern Africa, and their numbers there are rapidly decreasing, with an estimated 30–50% decline over the last two decades. Estimates of the African lion population range between 16,500 and 47,000 living in the wild in 2002–2004, down from early 1990s estimates that ranged as high as 100,000 and perhaps 400,000 in 1950. Primary causes of the decline include disease and human interference. Habitat loss and conflicts with humans are considered the most significant threats to the species. The remaining populations are often geographically isolated from one another, which can lead to inbreeding, and consequently, reduced genetic diversity. Therefore the lion is considered a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, while the Asiatic subspecies is endangered. The lion population in the region of West Africa is isolated from lion populations of Central Africa, with little or no exchange of breeding individuals. The number of mature individuals in West Africa is estimated by two separate recent surveys at 850–1,160 (2002/2004). There is disagreement over the size of the largest individual population in West Africa, the estimates range from 100 to 400 lions in Burkina Faso's Arly-Singou ecosystem. Another population in northwestern Africa is found in Waza National Park, where only about 14-21 animals persist.

A Saiga on the Uzbekistan steppe
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Save Saiga

The saiga (Saiga tatarica) is a critically endangered antelope which originally inhabited a vast area of the Eurasian steppe zone from the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains and Caucasus into Dzungaria and Mongolia. They also lived in North America during the Pleistocene. Today, the nominate subspecies (S. t. tatarica) is only found in one location in Russia and three areas in Kazakhstan (the Ural, Ustiurt and Betpak-dala populations). A proportion of the Ustiurt population migrates south to Uzbekistan and occasionally Turkmenistan in winter. It is extinct in China and southwestern Mongolia.

Today, the populations have again shrunk enormously, as much as 95% in 15 years, and the saiga is classified as critically endangered by the IUCN. An estimated total number of 50,000 saigas survive today in Kalmykia, three areas of Kazakhstan and in two isolated areas of Mongolia. Another small population in the Pre-Caspian region of Russia remains under extreme threat.

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Save Brown spider monkey

The brown spider monkey or variegated spider monkey (Ateles hybridus) is a critically endangered species of spider monkey, a type of New World monkey, from northern Colombia and northwestern Venezuela.

The brown spider monkey is now a highly threatened species, the population is estimated to have decreased by at least 80% and some populations have already been extirpated. Few remaining populations are of adequate size to be viable long-term. Habitat loss is ongoing within its range, and an estimated 98% of its habitat already is gone. It is also threatened by hunting (in some regions it is the favorite game) and the wild animals trade. The brown spider monkey is among "The World's 25 Most Endangered Primates", and is one of only two Neotropical primates (the other being the yellow-tailed woolly monkey) to have been included in this list in both 2006-2008 and 2008-2010.

A small population of fewer than 30 individuals of the subspecies A. h. brunneus has been discovered in a protected area of Colombia, the Selva de Florencia National Park. This is the southernmost population of the brown spider monkey and the only population found in a protected area.

A pack of African wild dogs on the savannah
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Save African wild dog

Lycaon pictus is a canid found only in Africa, especially in savannas and lightly wooded areas. It is variously called the African wild dog, African hunting dog, Cape hunting dog, painted dog, painted wolf, painted hunting dog, spotted dog, or ornate wolf.

There were once approximately 500,000 African wild dogs in 39 countries, and packs of 100 or more were not uncommon. Now there are only about 3,000–5,500 in fewer than 25 countries, or perhaps only 14 countries. They are primarily found in eastern and southern Africa, mostly in the two remaining large populations associated with the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania and the population centered in northern Botswana and eastern Namibia. Smaller but apparently secure populations of several hundred individuals are found in Zimbabwe, South Africa, and in the Ruaha/Rungwa/Kisigo complex of Tanzania. Isolated populations persist in Zambia, Kenya, and Mozambique.

The African wild dog is an endangered species due to habitat loss and poaching. It uses very large territories, and it is strongly affected by competition with larger carnivores that rely on the same prey base, particularly the lion and the Spotted Hyena. While the adult wild dogs can usually outrun the larger predators, lions often will kill as many wild dogs and cubs at the brooding site as they can but do not eat them. One on one the hyena is much more powerful than the wild dog but a large group of wild dogs can successfully chase off a small number of hyenas because of their teamwork. It is also killed by livestock herders and game hunters, though it is typically no more persecuted than other carnivores that pose more threat to livestock. Most of Africa's national parks are too small for a pack of wild dogs, so the packs expand to the unprotected areas, which tend to be ranch or farm land. Ranchers and farmers protect their domestic animals by killing the wild dogs. Like other carnivores, the African wild dog is sometimes affected by outbreaks of viral diseases such as rabies, distemper, and parvovirus. Although these diseases are not more pathogenic or virulent for wild dogs, the small size of most wild dog populations makes them vulnerable to local extinction due to diseases or other problems.

A close up on of Southern bluefin tuna
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Save Southern bluefin tuna

The southern bluefin tuna, Thunnus maccoyii, is a tuna of the family Scombridae found in open southern hemisphere waters of all the world's oceans mainly between 30°S and 50°S, to nearly 60°S. At up to 2.5 m and weighing up to 400 kg it is among the larger bony fishes. Southern bluefin tuna, like other pelagic tuna species, are part of a group of bony fishes that can maintain their body core temperature up to 10 degrees above the ambient temperature. This advantage enables them to maintain high metabolic output for predation and migrating large distances. The southern bluefin tuna is an opportunistic feeder, preying on a wide variety of fish, crustaceans, cephalopods, salps, and other marine animals.

The southern bluefin tuna is now classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened species. In 2010, Greenpeace International has added the SBT to its seafood red list. The Greenpeace International seafood red list is a list of fish that are commonly sold in supermarkets around the world, and which Greenpeace believe have a very high risk of being sourced from unsustainable fisheries.

There was a pressing obligation to alleviate some of the harvesting pressure on SBT populations, and increasing concerns about sustainability in the mid-1980s led the main nations fishing SBT at the time to manage catches. These nations imposed strict quotas to their fishing fleets, although no official quotas were put in place.

African wild ass on the hot sand
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Save African wild ass

The African wild ass (Equus africanus) is a wild member of the horse family, Equidae. This species is believed to be the ancestor of the domestic donkey which is usually placed within the same species. They live in the deserts and other arid areas of the Horn of Africa, in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia; it formerly had a wider range north and west into Sudan, Egypt and Libya. About 570 individuals exist in the wild.

Though the species itself is under no threat of extinction, due to abundant domestic stock (donkey and burros), the two extant wild subspecies are both listed as critically endangered. African wild asses have been captured for domestication for centuries, and this, along with interbreeding between wild and domestic animals, has caused a distinct decline in population numbers. There are now only a few hundred individuals left in the wild. These animals are also hunted for food and for traditional medicine in both Ethiopia and Somalia, where recent civil unrest has led to an increased number of weapons in circulation. Competition with domestic livestock for grazing, and restricted access to water supplies caused by agricultural developments, pose further threats to the survival of this species.

Arakan forest turtle in the djungel
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Save Arakan forest turtle

The Arakan forest turtle is an extremely rare turtle species which lives only in the Arakan hills of western Myanmar. It is a semiterrestrial turtle, meaning it can survive in aquatic as well as terrestrial habitats, however, as adults they prefer living in terrestrial habitats.

The Arakan Forest Turtle was believed extinct (last seen in 1908), but in 1994 was rediscovered when a few specimens turned up in Asian food markets. Like most Asian turtles, it is collected yearly as a food source or for "medical cures." Only a handful of these conservation reliant turtles are in captivity, and their status in the wild, which is dubious at best, is listed as critical.

The turtle remains dormant the majority of the time by hiding in leaves and debris if they aren’t foraging for food. The Arakan forest turtle is an omnivore, feeding on both animals and plants. Although these turtles are considered a relatively reserved animal for the majority of their daily activity, they are aggressive when it comes to eating insects, worms and fish. They are also big fans of fruit that fall to the forest floor.

A female and male bactrian camel cuddles
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Save Bactrian camel

The Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus) is a large, even-toed ungulate native to the steppes of central Asia. Of the two species of camel, it is by far the rarer. The Bactrian camel has two humps on its back, in contrast to the single-humped dromedary camel. Its population of two million exists mainly in the domesticated form. Some authorities, notably the IUCN of Nature, use the binomial name Camelus ferus for the wild Bactrian camel and reserve Camelus bactrianus for the domesticated Bactrian camel.

The wild form has dwindled to a population estimated at 800 in October 2002 and has been classified as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Its range in the wild is restricted to remote regions of the Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts of Mongolia and China, migrating from the desert to rivers in Siberia during winter. A small number of wild Bactrian camels still roam the Mangystau Province of southwest Kazakhstan and the Kashmir valley in Pakistan and India. There are feral herds of Bactrian camels in Australia.

The Bactrian camel was identified as one of the top ten "focal species" in 2007 by the EDGE project, which prioritises unique and threatened species for conservation. Fewer than a thousand (approximately 600 individuals) are thought to survive in the wild and the population is decreasing. The immediate threats faced by the species are all human related. Firstly, habitat loss has been high to development for mining and industrial complexes. Due to increasing human populations, wild camels are forced to share food and water sources with introduced domestic stock and are thus sometimes shot by farmers. Included in this stock is domesticated Bactrians, who freely mate with wild individuals. This has led to a concern of a loss of genetically distinct wild Bactrian camel.

Wild water buffalo in the water
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Save Wild water buffalo

The wild water buffalo (Bubalus arnee), also called Asian buffalo and Asiatic buffalo, is a large bovine native to Southeast Asia. It is listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List since 1986, as the remaining population totals less than 4,000, with an estimate of fewer than 2,500 mature individuals. The population decline of at least 50% over the last three generations (24–30 years) is projected to continue.

The global population has been estimated at 3,400 individuals, of which 3,100 (91%) live in India, mostly in Assam.

The most important threats are, interbreeding with feral and domestic buffalo in and around protected areas. Hunting, especially in Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar. Habitat loss of floodplain areas due to conversion to agriculture and hydropower development. Diseases and parasites transmitted by domestic livestock. Interspecific competition for food and water between wild buffalo and domestic stock.

Two Addax eating grass in the dessert
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Save Addax

The addax (Addax nasomaculatus), also known as the white antelope and the screwhorn antelope, is an antelope of the genus Addax, that lives in the Sahara desert. The addax mainly eats grasses and leaves of any available shrubs, leguminous herbs and bushes. These animals are well-adapted to exist in their desert habitat, as they can live without water for long periods of time. Addax form herds of five to 20 members, consisting of both males and females. They are led by the oldest female.

The addax is a critically endangered species of antelope, as classified by the IUCN. Although extremely rare in its native habitat due to unregulated hunting, it is quite common in captivity. The addax was once abundant in North Africa, native to Chad, Mauritania and Niger. It is extinct in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Sudan and western Sahara. It has been reintroduced in Morocco and Tunisia.

Addax are easy to hunt due to their slow movements. Roadkill, firearms for easy hunting and nomadic settlements near waterholes (their dry-season feeding places) have also decreased numbers. Moreover, their meat and leather are highly prized. Other threats include chronic droughts in the deserts, habitat destruction due to more human settlements and agriculture. Less than 500 individuals are thought to exist in the wild today, most of the animals being found between the Termit area of Niger and the Bodélé region of western Chad.

A dolphin in crystal clear blue waters
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Save Dolphin

There are almost forty species of dolphin in 17 genera. They vary in size from 1.2 m and 40 kg (Maui's dolphin), up to 9.5 m and 10 tonnes (the orca or killer whale). They are found worldwide, mostly in the shallower seas of the continental shelves and are carnivores, eating mostly fish and squid.

Some dolphin species face an uncertain future, especially some river dolphin species such as the Amazon river dolphin, and the Ganges and Yangtze river dolphin, which are critically or seriously endangered. A 2006 survey found no individuals of the Yangtze river dolphin, which now appears to be functionally extinct.

Pesticides, heavy metals, plastics, and other industrial and agricultural pollutants that do not disintegrate rapidly in the environment concentrate in predators such as dolphins. Injuries or deaths due to collisions with boats, especially their propellers, are also common. Various fishing methods, most notably purse seine fishing for tuna and the use of drift and gill nets, unintentionally kill many dolphins.Loud underwater noises, such as those resulting from naval sonar use, live firing exercises, and certain offshore construction projects such as wind farms, may be harmful to dolphins, increasing stress, damaging hearing, and causing decompression sickness by forcing them to surface too quickly to escape the noise.

Asian golden cat sneaking into the woods
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Save Asian golden cat

The Asian golden cat is a medium-sized wild cat of Southeastern Asia. In 2008, the IUCN classified Asian golden cats as Near Threatened, stating that the species comes close to qualifying as Vulnerable due to hunting pressure and habitat loss, since Southeast Asian forests are undergoing the world's fastest regional deforestation.

Asian golden cats inhabit some of the fastest developing countries in the world, where they are increasingly threatened by habitat destruction following deforestation, along with a declining ungulate prey base. Another serious threat is hunting for the illegal wildlife trade, which has the greatest potential to do maximum harm in minimal time. It has been reported killed in revenge for depredating livestock, including poultry but also larger animals such as sheep, goats and buffalo calves.

The population size of the Asian golden cat is unknown and difficult to estimate. It was regarded as abundant in many countries until the later part of the last century, when poaching shifted away from tigers and leopards to this species. In China, it is reported to be the next rarest cat apart from tigers and leopards.

Axolotl swimming in an aquarium
Photograph by Daniel Forslund

Save Axolotl

The axolotl also known as a Mexican salamander or a Mexican walking fish, is a neotenic salamander, closely related to the tiger salamander. Although the axolotl is colloquially known as a "walking fish", it is not a fish, but an amphibian. The species originates from numerous lakes, such as Lake Xochimilco underlying Mexico City. Axolotls are unusual among amphibians in that they reach adulthood without undergoing metamorphosis. Instead of developing lungs and taking to land, the adults remain aquatic and gilled.

As of 2010, wild axolotls were near extinction due to urbanization in Mexico City and consequent water pollution. They are currently listed by CITES as an endangered species and by IUCN as critically endangered in the wild, with a decreasing population. Axolotls are used extensively in scientific research due to their ability to regenerate limbs. Axolotls were also sold as food in Mexican markets and were a staple in the Aztec diet.

A four month long search in 2013 turned up no surviving individuals in the wild. Previous surveys in 1998, 2003 and 2008 had found 6000, 1000 and 100 axolotls per square kilometer in its Lake Xochimilco habitat, respectively.

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