Currently, I am reading The Devil’s Teeth by Susan Casey, a fascinating book about Great White Sharks.
She states in the book that in 1993, Great White’s became a protected species due to the fact that before, they were among the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) “10 Most Wanted Species”, which is a list of the 10 most endangered species in the world.
I was curious to see who is currently the “10 Most Wanted Species”, so I did a little Google search, and found a list. Now, this list is from 2010, (I can’t find a more current one, and if you do please let me know!) but I am assuming these species are still endangered, if not even more now that they’ve been on the list for 2 years.
So, here are the 10 most endangered species (from 2010):
10: Giant Panda
There are only about 1,600 more Pandas left in the wild. And we don’t want that adorable face to go extinct!
9: Javan Rhinoceros
Considered one of the “most endangered large mammals in the world”, there are less than 60 of these animals and only 2 populations left in the wild. Knowing that only 60 of them exist, is incredibly troubling.
8: Monarch Butterfly
It does not say how many are left, but if it’s on the endangered list, there can’t be many. It’s weird to think that an insect could become extinct (I know we all wish certain ones would!) however, imagine how sad it would be not to see these beautiful butterflies in the backyard.
7: Mountain Gorilla
Probably the most beautiful of the great apes (in my opinion), only about 720 still survive in the wild, with more than 200 living in National Parks. After I read the biography of Dian Fossey, Woman in the Mists, (I plan to read Gorillas in the Mist soon) tears come to my eyes just thinking about these creatures becoming extinct.
6: Bluefin Tuna
Yes, it’s also weird to think of a fish on the endangered list, however this particular fish is “the source of highest grade sushi”, and could soon become extinct. It does not say how many are left though.
5: Leatherback Turtle
Turtles are pretty much everyone’s favorite animal, and I just love how serene and beautiful they are. They are also one of the largest living reptiles, and there are only about 2,300 female Leatherback Turtles left in the wild.
4: Magellanic Penguin
Everyone loved “March of the Penguins” and “Happy Feet”, and how could anyone imagine these cute creatures becoming extinct?! However, “12 out of the 17 penguin species are currently experiencing rapid population decline”.
3: Pacific Walrus
Ever seen “50 First Dates”? Well, the Walrus is one of the “largest victims of climate change”. 200 dead Walrus (what’s plural for “walrus”?!) washed up on Alaska’s northwest coast in September 2010.
2: Polar Bear
Unfortunately, this one is no surprise. WWF reports that “many polar bear populations will be vulnerable to extinction within the next century if warming trends in the Arctic continue at the current pace”. I could never imagine a world without these majestic bears.
And at #1, one of the most beautiful of the feline world, is the Tiger. There may be as few as 3,200 left in the wild because they are poached for their body parts. It is devastating to know that these tigers could be extinct because of the selfishness of humans.
Whether it’s because of climate change, deforestation, or us humans, it is heartbreaking to know that our children and grand-children may not be able to experience the wonder each of these animals has to offer. Something has to be done to protect and save these endangered species.
To read the full list, and to hear why and how to save these animals, click here.
*Note: Click on the link above to view my sources and to read the full list of the “10 Most Wanted Species”. The pictures were taken from Google Images.*