The World’s 6 Most Endangered Animal Habitats

By Rachel Cernansky, Planet Green

The reasons that animals get to be on the endangered list are many and complex, but habitat and lack of safe refuge have a lot to do with it.

The Gulf of Mexico, for example, has been too cold lately for the manatees who usually live there, and the mammals have instead been turning up in the warm waters of power plant discharge canals.

More than 300 manatees—mammals whose immune systems are weakened in the cold—swam into the discharge of Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Station in Florida last week, the BBC reports.

Central Africa

Central Africa’s mountain gorillas might win for the world’s most dangerous habitat, and between habitat destruction and ongoing conflict in the region, their population has been brought to the brink of extinction, with no place to go for refuge. Add the world’s only remaining mountain gorillas living in the mountainous region spanning Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the list of reasons to stop the conflict in that region (which means taking a little responsibility for the role our gadgets play in perpetuating it).

Related: 10 Most Threatened Animal Species

Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is really suffering not only because of climate change, but also because of runoff from the coast of nutrients, fertilizers, pesticides, sewage, and oil. It’s putting the delicate balance of life in the world’s largest reef system in serious jeopardy.

Related: 5 Human Habits Harmful to Ocean Health

Gulf of Aden

The waters where Somali pirates often strike are also home to plenty of marine life, including many coral species, the Crown Butterfly fish, which is found only in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, and thousands of sea turtles. Female turtles have been tagged and identified as nesting in South Yemen and then recaptured in Somalia, more than 2000 km away.

Forests of Indonesia

The orangutans in Indonesia are running out of space to go, too. Logging operations and the global demand for palm oil have nearly wiped out the territory these primates call home, and social conflicts have been on the rise, reports The Ecologist, “as people who depend on forests for their livelihoods are being forced to change their way of life.”

Related: 5 Environmental Crises to Care About

Madagascar

Madagascar is not just a DreamWorks film; it’s a real-life ecological wonderland. But it’s under threat from the usual suspects: deforestation, erosion, exploitation of resources—including hunting and people collecting wild animals—and introduction of alien species.

This is not an exhaustive list, of course. Species are being pushed from their mountaintop habitats, and plant species are threatened in just about every country in the world.

Related:
Top 10 Countries Killing the Planet

208 comments

Kathy G.
Kathy G.2 years ago

Having been to most of these biodiversity hot spots, it is human habits that are destroying these vital places. help orangutans, lemurs, coral reefs, turtles,etc. Learn to tread lightly on this planet. Support a conservation group- no matter how large or small it will help.

Dianne Turner
Dianne Turner2 years ago

O.M.G... WHY IS IT THAT IF WE CAN'T PROFIT FROM IT, CONTROL IT, OR USE IT IN OTHER WAYS WE DESTROY IT?? tHERE ARE ALTERNATIVES TO WOOD (BUILDING HOMES), IF WE WERE LESS DEPENDANT ON WOOD, COCONUT OIL ETC: THESE MAGNIFICENT ANIMALS WOULD STILL EXIST IN NUMBERS=BUT NO WE'VE DESTROYED THEIRHABITAT AND NOW E'RE DESTROYING THEM! BOYCOTT PRODUCTS THAT FORCE ANIMALS INTO EXTINCTION, PLEASE

Natasha Salgado

God how depressing is this..,i feel 4 the future generations that will only see barren wastelands and concrete structures. Very grim...thanks

LMj Sunshine

Very sad, thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Very sad, thank you.

Eric Luu
Eric Luu4 years ago

Thanks for sharing. Now to get people to protect these habitats.

Benoit W.
Benoit W.4 years ago

Central Africa is not only mined by conflic but also by multinationnals interrest by the wood and palm oil industry...This is a lot for the flore and the faune of Africa's forest

Sheri Schongold
Sheri Schongold4 years ago

The loss of all these habitats is due to man's greed and desire to own/take over/pave all the areas of these and other animals. Soon the only animals left will be on 2 feet.

Valentina R.
Valentina R.4 years ago

Such beautiful places... good job mankind!

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe4 years ago

There has to be something we can do!!!
I have stopped buying anything with Palm Oil in it in protest to help save some land in the Forests of Indonesia for the Orangutans.
I'm not sure what to do about the Gulf of Aden, or the Great Barrier Reef, or the Gulf of Mexico, or Central Africa’s Mountain Gorillas, or Madagascar!!