When it comes to the Endangered Species List, some animals stand out as celebrities: polar bears, giant pandas, rhinos, snow leopards… But sadly, the list is so extensive that there are many species you may never have suspected are endangered. Here are twenty of them.
An icon of the African plains and a necessity in any wildlife documentary about lions going a-huntin’, the zebra is actually in trouble. Well, really, it’s the Grevy’s zebra. There are several species of zebra in Africa, including the Plains zebra, Mountain zebra and the Grevy’s zebra. Among them, the Mountain zebra is listed as vulnerable but the Grevy’s is in dire straits with only about 2,500 individuals left in the wild.
We wouldn’t think of peacocks as endangered, considering you can find them in any wildlife park, petting zoo, and even in random farms across the country. But there are subspecies of this flamboyant bird that are in danger of disappearing, including the Bornean Peacock Pheasant (pictured above) and the Hainan Peacock Pheasant of the island Hainan, China. For both species, habitat loss is a major factor for their decline. Only about 600-1,700 Bornean Peacock Pheasants and around 350-1,500 Hainan Peacock Pheasants are left in the world.
Giraffes are practically part of the landscape of Africa, standing tree-like in the grasslands. Most giraffe species are of no concern to conservationists, yet one subspecies (or, as some researchers propose, a separate species), the Rothschild giraffe, a.k.a. Baringo Giraffe or Ugandan Giraffe, is endangered. Those living in the wild are found in protected areas in Kenya and Uganda, while about 450 individuals are found in zoos around the world.
Though you may see a flock around that sugar-water feeder you set out, quite a few hummingbird species are actually listed as endangered by IUCN. Some of these species include the Oaxaca Hummingbird (pictured above), with around 600-1,700 mature individuals left; Mangrove hummingbird, which was only discovered in 2005 and lives along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica; and the Chestnut-billed hummingbird, a species found in Colombia with only about 600-1,700 individuals left.
By Jaymi Heimbuch, TreeHugger