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Top 10 Endangered Species of Wild Animals in the World
Expediting Conservation may be the Saviour
Dinosaurs became extinct from the earth because of some natural catastrophe. But there are many species in the world which are endangered, some of these even critically. Many factors like deforestation, climatic changes resulting from global warming, poaching, some diseases in specific areas are now responsible for the constant shrinkage of wild life. While conservation efforts are on, both at the government and voluntary level, it is imperative to be conscious of this threat of extinction of some of the species in the coming period.
This Hub will showcase some of the endangered species of wild animals in different parts of the world. Ten selected primates, birds, reptiles and other species have been included.
#1. Sumatan Orangutan
This critically endangered species of Orangutans is found only in the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. Interestingly, one of the most intelligent primates, Orangutan, is also called 'person of the forest', deriving its meaning from Malay and Indonesian words. Unlike other chimpanzees or gorillas, they have typically long reddish-brown, coarse hairy coat. Adult males can be easily recognized not only by their size but by throat pouch and flanges on both sides of face. Their favourite diet is pulpy fruit but they also like honey, insects and eggs of birds. Loss of habitat and hunting are the biggest threat. Forest fires have also done irreparable damage.
#2. Mountain Gorilla
Another critically endangered primate is mountain gorilla, with only 880 remaining, slightly more than half mainly in Virunga mountains of central Africa and the remaining half in the National Park in Uganda. With thick and longer fur on their bodies these gorillas survive in cold temperatures as well. Contrary to their built which looks strong and powerful, they are quite gentle and shy. They are mainly vegetarians and their main diet is roots, shoots and fruit. They also eat tree bark and pulp.
This is also among the critically endangered species of crocodilian. Known for elongated jaws and sharp interlocking teeth nearly 100 in number, this largest creature among its species can be 20 to 23 feet in length (male), weighing about 160 kgs. Also called gavial, the mature male has bulbous growth on the tip of its snout which serves as a visual sign to female gharials and also as a vocal resonator for attracting. Found in the rivers of Northern India sub-continent, they prefer aquatic lifestyle and mainly eat small fish, frogs and insects.
#4. Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Loggerhead Turtle, a marine reptile, is found in the Atlantic, Pacific and the Indian oceans. They are hard-shelled and appear reddish brown with pale yellow bottom shell. Their heads are relatively large and they can crush whelks, crabs and conch using their powerful jaws. These beautifully coloured turtles are threatened by environmental contamination, entanglements with long line and trap/pot fishing gear and even diseases in certain areas.
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#5. Golden Crowned Flying fox
This megabat is called golden-crowned because of the golden fur around the neck though body is black. Primarily nocturnal, this largest flying fox is endemic to the forests in Philippines and mainly a fig eater. This rare species can fly up to 40 kms in a night and is helpful in maintaining the ecosystem by spreading seeds of the fruit that they eat in the forests. Poaching and deforestation are the two factors responsible for their being declared as endangered species.
Giant Golden-crowned Flying Fox - Watch wings of flight
#6. Red Breasted Goose
One of the most beautiful endangered birds, red-breasted goose is recognised as a multi-coloured goose with beautiful well-defined bright patches, having wide white stripes on both sides making the colours more evident. These birds are highly migratory, the breeding is mainly done at Taimyr and to some extent in the Gydan and Yamal peninsulas. However, winter is spent on black sea coast in Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine, where they feed mainly on grasses, seeds and leaves. Changes in land use near the five sites where they flock together in winter has threatened this species.
A quick look at beautiful Red Breasted Goose
This endangered large wild goat with twisting horns is confined to a limited geographical region comprising northern and central parts of Pakistan, parts of Jammu and Kashmir, southern parts of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Local people still believe that the foam like substance, which comes out of its mouth while chewing the cud, can extract venom out of snake-bite wounds. Males have black beard and the horns can be as 1.6 meters, though females have short and slender horns.
#8. Asian Elephant
The largest land living animal in Asia, Asian Elephants are found in Southeast Asia - India in the West and Borneo in the East. Their skins is usually gray and wrinkled, with some having depigmented trunk and ears. They are highly intelligent and have great cognitive abilities like apes. As a result, human beings have domesticated them and used them for carrying heavy loads, specially in otherwise inaccessible areas like forests. Poaching for ivory and destruction of forests for enlarging developmental areas are the major threats to this species.
#9. Bactrian Camel
With two humps at its back, the Bactarian camel is now largely domesticated, though it is still available as a wild animal in remote areas of Gobi and Taklamakan deserts of Mongolia and China. Southwest Kazakhstan and Kashmir valley also have small population of Bactarian camels. The famous caravans on Silk Route for trade during ancient times mainly comprised Bactarian camels because of their capacities to tolerate drought, cold and high altitudes. They continue to remain migratory depending upon water, vegetation and temperature conditions. They have a large capacity for water intake (57 litres) and can live without water for months together. The biggest threats for them are human related including loss of habitat due to development.
Watch the Bactrian Camels and their young ones
#10. Grevy's Zebra
Narrower stripes, large and rounded ears and taller than other species of zebra, Grevy's Zebra is mainly found in Kenya and Ethiopia. Its structure makes it to look more like a mule and it seems it acquired it name when one was presented to French President Jules Grevy by Government of Abyssinia in 1882. They are highly territorial and inhabitant of semi-desert areas and each one has a unique set of stripes which can even be used to identify them just like fingerprints are used to identify human beings. Hunting for skins threatened this species though Ethiopia and Kenya have now initiated steps to protect them.
Your opinion about endangered wild animals
Which one of the Wild Animals posted at this Hub you like the most?
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