20 Surprising Animals You Didn’t Know Are Going Extinct

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.

1. Zebras

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.


2. Peacocks

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.

Photo Credit: Fowl vet (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

3. Giraffes

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.


4. Hummingbirds

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.

Photo Credit: Jerry Oldenettel (originally posted to Flickr as DSC_5430a) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Continue reading on TreeHugger.com.



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By Jaymi Heimbuch, TreeHugger


Beryl L
Beryl Labout a year ago

I knew about these animals being in danger. where do you live? Under a rock?

Mary Jane R.
Mary Jane R4 years ago

I was not sure if I wanted to read this article...but to help (or try to help or to find a way to do that) we need to be informed... Soooooo sad...

Tanya Selth
Tanya Selth4 years ago

sadly noted

Lynn Carin
Lynn Carin4 years ago

Sadly Noted. This is the link I found after reading the other article about endangered animals - it's heartbreaking. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IUCN_Red_List_Critically_Endangered_species_(Animalia)

Maria S.
Maria S4 years ago

Very sad!

Dave C.
David C4 years ago

sadly noted........I knew about most, but a few were new to me, too

Past Member
Heather T4 years ago

How very sad.
What mankind has done to this beautiful planet does not bear thinking about.
We must all do something about it before it is too late and we have no wildlife left at all.

Mary Donnelly
Mary Donnelly4 years ago


Debbie Tate
Debra Tate4 years ago

Why must man always kill! Signed. So sad.

Lis T.
Elisabeth T4 years ago

How very, very sad.