4 Animals That Barely Survived Into 2016

As we go into the new year, many of us are planning new starts. But some critically endangered animals might not get similar chances. Right now 17 species are critically endangered, and here are a few that barely survived into 2016.

1. Saola

The animal often called the “Asian unicorn” may soon exist only in our imaginations. Scientists discovered the cousin to cattle more than 20 years ago and found it in the wild only four times since. Living deep in the Annamite Mountains of Vietnam and Laos, their exact population numbers are unknown, but deforestation is destroying their rainforest home.

2. Yangtze Finless Porpoise

A decade ago, human activity wiped out the first entire dolphin species in the very river that the Yangtze finless porpoise calls home. The freshwater porpoise—said to be as smart as a gorilla—may soon follow. Its populations in Asia’s longest river are down to fewer than 1,800 animals, and overfishing threatens its food supplies. Conservationists hope a relocation project last December to safer waters may help bolster their numbers.

3. Javan Rhino

We said goodbye to the Western black rhino back in 2011. We may soon have to do similar with the Javan rhino, declared “probably the rarest large mammal on the planet” by the World Wildlife Fund. About 60 of these live in a national park on the Indonesian island of Java. Threats to the critically endangered species include poachers cutting down their numbers and an invasive palm encroaching on the grasses and browse they feed upon. Plus, as they live together in a single population, a natural disaster could wipe them all out.

4. Hawksbill Turtle

Poachers are hunting the hawksbill turtle to near extinction for its shells, often sold in the black market for jewelry and other luxury items. In fact, 90 percent of them have died over the last 100 years, according to the Sea Turtle Conservancy. As Care2 notes, educating tourists and suppliers of the turtle’s rarity can help, alongside improving anti-trade agreements between regions and hiring a special unit of former traders to watch over the illegal turtle trade.

In such dire circumstances, we may wonder what we can do to either save these creatures or ones like them in the future. Gary Frazer of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a few words of advice, as told to Vogue.

“It ranges from the simple to the more complex. Like not purchasing or supporting any illegal wildlife trade, being sensitive to that impact. In a larger sense, being aware of the ecological footprint we all have. Whether we have three homes as opposed to one home. Being conscious of the impact we make when we move onto a habitat,” Frazer says. “Those are all things humans can influence. There’s going to have to be a purposeful effort on the part of the public to reverse the negative effects of that change.”

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Mark Donner
Mark Donner1 years ago

The Yangzte river dolphin is extinct. The Yangzte giant turtle is down to three individuals. Anything that lives in disgusting, massively polluted, self serving China is doomed. That includes humans who are dropping like flies from China's disgusting pollution. This nightmare nation is spreading their criminality, filth and greed around the world to destroy everyone else's environments. Chinese should go back to the ninth level of hell they slithered out of.

Ei R.
Ei R2 years ago

It is so sad that so many are disappearing.

Ana R
ANA MARIJA R2 years ago

Well, most of us know what we need to do in order to save environment and species, but i wonder how many of us is really willing to change own lifestyle... Just thinking out loud...

susan thornton
susan Thornton2 years ago

They all need to be saved and protected from horrible humans

D.E.A. C.
D.E.A. C2 years ago

I'm glad they're still with us. Let's work to keep them here long into the future.

Beth M.
Beth M2 years ago

With the loss of every species, we are killing ourselves.

Deborah W.
Deborah W2 years ago

With more awareness and less interest among the majority of today's populous, pretty sure we can finish 'em off this year. Shameful what we've allowed ourselves to become isn't it?

Joanna M.
Joanna M2 years ago

Approximately 50% of the world's 207 turtle and tortoise species are endangered! Sign the petition to help me donate turtle hatchlings...


2 years ago

save them before they extinct