Most Endangered Animals

Most Endangered Animals, According to Young People's Trust for the Environment, as of 2011, there are about 5,000 endangered species on Earth. About one of these species becomes extinct each year. Endangered species are usually the result of a combination of factors, which commonly include poaching, loss of habitat and global warming. While there are hundreds of species on the endangered list, there are a handful of species at greater risk of extinction than others.

Red Wolf

The red wolf and gray wolf are the only species of wolf in the world. The red wolf was declared extinct from the wild in the 1980s, but several were taken into captivity so that they could be bred in order to restore the population, according to Defenders of Wildlife. As of 2011, the species is still endangered, but it's estimated that over 100 live in an area in northeastern North Carolina. Hundreds more live in captivity at breeding sites throughout the United States in an effort to further restore their population. Defenders of Wildlife notes that the greatest threats to red wolf survival are destruction of habitat, climate change and the potential that they are breeding with coyotes in the wild.

Giant Panda

According to the World Wildlife Fund, as of 2011, only about 1,600 giant pandas remain in the wild. They live in the mountainous, forested areas throughout central and southern China and feed on bamboo. There are several reasons giant pandas are endangered. The biggest reason is illegal poaching; other reasons are their low reproductive rate, loss of habitat and declining availability of their main food source, bamboo. It's estimated that pandas spend up to 14 hours a day feeding on bamboo to get proper nutrients.


As of 2010, it's estimated that there are only 3,200 tigers left in the wild. According to the World Wildlife Fund, this is the species most threatened by extinction. Their decline in population is due mainly to deforestation, which leads to loss of habitat, and illegal poaching. Another impending threat is global warming. Most of the tigers left in the wild live in mangrove habitats. However, rising sea levels caused by warming temperatures could eliminate these habitats.

North Atlantic Right Whale

The World Wildlife Fund estimates that, as of 2011, only 300-350 North Atlantic right whales still exist in the wild. This is largely due to a long history of whaling and the whales' inability to reproduce as quickly as they were being eliminated. Although this species has been protected since the 1930s, no substantial population gain has been documented. Because these whales prefer coastal waters, they can get caught in fishing nets. Additionally, the World Wildlife Fund notes, right whales typically don't fear boats, making them more likely to be struck by passing ships.

Arctic Animals

Although they're not yet officially listed as "endangered," there are two species of Arctic animals that are in jeopardy: polar bears and Pacific walruses. Polar bears spend much of their time hunting on ice, but as temperatures warm, these ice blocks are becoming less common, which makes it harder for the bears to find food. Similarly, Pacific walruses use ice chunks for resting, birthing and nursing young as well as hiding out from predators, according to The Telegraph newspaper. The loss of ice blocks is leading to habitat losses for this species.

Read more: World's Most Endangered Animals | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_8162446_worlds-endangered-animals.html#ixzz1qrR3Qywh

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