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1. Black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis)

The Black rhinoceros or hook-lipped rhinoceros is a species of rhinoceros native to Eastern and Southern Africa. Rhinoceros originated about fifty million years ago in the Eocene Epoch time. Contrary to its name, its colors vary from brown to grey. Black rhinoceros has five recognized subspecies. Among the recognized subspecies, two of which are already extinct, including Western Black Rhinoceros and North Eastern Black Rhinoceros. Overall, the species is classified as critically endangered.

Black Rhinos are found in grasslands, savannas, and shrublands. They feed on a variety of plants, such as twigs and leaves. They are usually a loner but sometimes gather in small crowds to relaxed in the mud. But they also have a reputation to become aggressive if they are in threat.

Poaching is a significant threat of its extinction. Rhino horns are used to make daggers and wine cup. Rhino horns are also used for Chinese Medicine. Many of its population can be found in reserves in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Tanzania, and Kenya.

2. African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus)

Often called cape hunting dogs or painted dogs, a native to Sub-Saharan Africa. The dog’s Latin name “painted dogs” refers to its irregular mottled coat, which has patches of colors red, brown, black, white, and yellow fur. Its population in 2016 is estimated to 6,600 adults, with only 1,400 of it is reproductive. Due to its decreasing number from its previous range, it was classified as an endangered species.

African Wild Dogs has four toes per foot, unlike any other dogs with five toes per foot. They are very sociable dogs and hunts dauntingly. They hunt antelopes or larger prey. They supplement their diets with rodents and birds.

African wild dogs stay away in forested areas, and they are mostly found in savannas and arid zones. As human settlement expands, their population is also decreasing due to habitat fragmentation and diseases spread by domestic animals.

3. Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)

The rarest member of the bear family and considered as a National treasure of China. Giant Panda or also known as Panda bear, is native to China, it is easily recognized by the large black patches around its eyes. They may have that charismatic look, but according to Smithsonian National Zoo, fewer than 1,900 pandas live in the wild, and about 300 live in zoos around the world. Due to deforestation and other developments, Giant Pandas were forced to go away from their lowland areas where they once lived.

According to San Diego Zoo, Giant Pandas grow up to 27-32 inches tall at the shoulder, 4 to 5 feet long, and can weigh to 275 lbs. Giant Pandas has an uncontrollable appetite when it comes to bamboo. They can eat bamboo 12 hours a day using their pseudo-thumb to hold the bamboo.

Pandas that are living in the wild can only be found in the remote mountainous regions of Central China. According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are a total of 67 panda reserves in China, protecting two-thirds of the giant pandas in the wild.

Here are 10 Amazing Facts Giant Panda.

4. Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus)

Blue whales are the largest animals ever lived on the planet. Its tongue can weigh as much as an elephant. Blue whale rules the ocean up to 100 feet and 200 tons. Aggressive hunting in the 1900s for whale oil made them almost extinct.

The average lifespan of the Blue whale is estimated to reach up to 80-90 years old. In underwater, the Blue whale might look true blue, but on the surface, they look mottled blue-gray. Blue whale's maximum recorded weight reached 173 tonnes. A single adult blue whale can consume as much as four tons of krill per day.

The blue whale can be found in larger groups in the Southern hemisphere, or they can be found alone or smaller groups in other world’s ocean. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that there are only about 10,000 to 25,000 blue whales worldwide compared to the average range of 202,000 to 311,000 before whale hunting started.

5. Mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx)

Mandrill is a primate of the Old World Monkey and the largest of all Monkeys. They weigh up to 77 pounds and grows up to 3 feet. These primates are becoming extinct due to hunting. They are often killed for bushmeat, and many Africans considered them as a delicacy.

Mandrill has distinctive colors and teeth. These identifiable colors of blue and red on the skin and brightly hued rumps become brighter when they are excited. Their extremely long canine teeth are used for self-defense. Mandrills live with troops, and they eat mostly fruits and insects.

Mandrills live in tropical rainforests, including Southern Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and Congo. They are shy and reclusive primates that spend much of their time on the ground and sleeps on trees.

6. Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi)

Mexican wolf or also known as Lobo is the rarest subspecies of the gray wolf in North America. It was once native to Southeastern Arizona, southern North Mexico, western Texas, and northern Mexico. It is the smallest subspecies of the gray wolf family and the most endangered wolf in the world. There were hundreds of Mexican wolf, but they were killed in the mid-1970s as wolves were posed as a threat to humans. The last five survivors were held and bred in captivity between 1977-1980.

Mexican wolf has gray with light brown colored fur on its back and has long legs with a sleek body. They are social animals, living in packs. They are carnivores, and they eat deer and elk and other smaller mammals like ground squirrels, rabbits, and mice.

As of 2017, it was estimated that a total of 143 Mexican wolves are living in the wild, and 240 were held captive for breeding programs.

7. Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus)

Grey Parrot has many names, including Congo Grey Parrot, Congo African Grey Parrot, or African Grey Parrot, it is one of the most popular exotic pets in the world. No wonder their population is endangered due to illegal poaching. It is said that 21% of Grey Parrots in the wild are illegally poached. They are native to equatorial Africa and live, preferably in dense forests. Sadly, in the 2015 population study, Grey parrots are almost banished in Ghana.

Grey Parrots are seen to be attractive because of its long life and intelligence. They have an average lifespan of 60 years and among the world’s most intelligent animals. The research sample shows that their intelligence level is the same as a toddler. They can mimic the sound and identify and quantify more than 80 objects.

Some conservationists plead not to make Grey parrot or any exotic animals as pets to eliminate the demand for these animals on the pet market.

8. Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus)

Gharials or also known as gavials or fish-eating crocodile is one of the longest of all living crocodilians. It was once found in all major river systems of the Northern Indian continent. Gharials are entirely aquatic living crocodilians, and they are efficient and well adapted to fishing underwater. When its population dropped drastically, the IUCN declared this crocodile as critically endangered.

Gharials can reach a body length of up to 20 feet and weigh up to 2,200 pounds. The estimated lifespan of Gharials is 40 - 60 years old. Its long and thin snouts best distinguish gharials. These large crocodiles were once spread across Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, and Nepal. But due to the multitude of threats of its existence, including killed by fishermen, damming of rivers across its range, or hunted for Traditional medicine, these crocodiles might be extinct.

9. Red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis)

Red-crowned crane, also called the Japanese Crane or Manchurian crane is the second rarest crane in the world. They can be found in Eastern Russia along the Amur River or in China and Japan. Red Cranes feed and nest in marshes with deep water. In some parts of Asia, it is known as a symbol of luck, longevity, and fidelity. On June 2, 1970, the species were classified as endangered due to its decreasing population.

Red-crowned bills are very pointed and sharp, which makes it easier to gather food. They are communal and live in flocks. They usually feed on insects, fish, amphibians, rodents, and some other plants. Sadly, with a high demand for constant industrial and agricultural expansion, their habitat is greatly affected. Many developments, especially in agriculture, were destroying many breeding wetlands. Some measures were already taken to help protect the red-crowned cranes.

10. Asian Arowana (Scleropages formosus)

Asian Arowana is one of the world’s most expensive ornamental fish and often regarded as the king of all aquarium fish in the world. It has an impressive size, color, and appearance. Asian Arowana is often priced in thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, Arowanas are listed as an endangered species due to habitat loss. It is illegal for a fish keepers to own an Arowana in the United States since 1973.

Asian Arowanas is native to Southeast Asia, and they inhabit blackwater rivers. Adults fish feed on other fish and small Arowana feed on insects. Asian Arowana can grow up to 35 inches in total length. Arowanas have a cultural significance in China. The name dragonfish originated from its resemblance to Chinese dragons. The international trade of Arowana is being controlled. Each sold fish from registered breeders comes with a certificate of authenticity, a birth certificate, and a microchip for identification.

11. Red panda (Ailurus fulgens)

Red Panda is found in China, Nepal, Bhutan, India, and Myanmar. Its scientific name literally means a fire-colored cat. Its striking fur helps blend in with the branches of the trees in which they live. They have reddish-brown hair, long shaggy tail, and roughly the size of a domestic cat. It feeds mainly on bamboo and also eats fruits, acorns, roots, and eggs.

The head and body length of red panda measure to 20 - 26 inches and weighs up to 6.2 kg. The red panda is territorial except during mating seasons, and they are usually solitary. Red pandas spend most of their time on trees. They are most active at night and also during dusk and dawn. Red pandas are at high risk due to deforestation.

12. Tiger (Panthera tigris)

Tiger is the largest member of the cat family. Tigers are perhaps the most recognizable member of the cat family. They also have the strength and ferocity like lions. Tigers are endangered throughout Russia, China, and India.

Tiger is easily noticeable because of its dark vertical stripes on orange-brown fur. It primarily hunts for deer and wild boar. They are very territorial and solitary. Tigers usually hunt at night.

Since the early 20th century, its population has lost 93% of their historic range. Tigers were hunted for their skin to be used as an expensive coat or used as talismans. A severe decrease in its numbers was expressed in the mid 20th century. Today, countries took measures to protect this endangered species.

13. Gooty sapphire tarantula (Poecilotheria metallica)

Image Credit: Micha L. Rieser

Gooty sapphire tarantula maybe one of the most beautiful tarantulas. It has a stunning base color of metallic blue and bright yellow stripes on the legs. When at their full size, they can reach up to 8 inches. It may be beautiful to look at, but this tarantula is among the most venomous in the world. It can leave humans in pain for a week.

Gooty Sapphire is already listed as a critically endangered species due to deforestation. Female Gooty can live for around 12 years and males up to 4 years. They are found in the Andhra Pradesh forest in central southern India. They are arboreal tarantulas found in tropical forest hiding in trees and active during night time. This species is incredibly fast and experts in hiding.

14. Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus)

Iberian Lynx is the most endangered feline in the world. Archeological data shows that Iberian Lynx is widely distributed throughout the Iberian Peninsula and Southeastern France. Iberian Lynx has a bright yellowish colored spotted short fur. Iberian lynx preys mostly on European rabbits. They prefer open environments of grassland mixed with thick shrubs like strawberry trees.

Iberian Lynx population was on the verge of extinction by the 21st century. There were only about 100 individuals survived isolated subpopulations in Andalusia. In order to save this species from extinction, programs were made to preserve its habitat. Because of the actions made to protect Iberian Lynx, it has been downlisted from critically endangered to endangered species.

15. Snow leopard (Panthera uncia)

Snow Leopard can be found in the mountain range of Central and South Asia. For a thousand years, Snow Leopard is the king of the mountains. They can grow to 4-5 feet and weighs up to 60-120 pounds. These magnificent cats can be found in China, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mongolia, and Russia, but their population is dropping.

Snow leopards with their insulated thick hair and their wide fur-covered feet can quickly adapt to the cold. They are usually solitary and the world’s most elusive cat. They have powerful legs that can leap as far as 50 feet. They hunt for blue sheep of Tibet and Himalayans. It was also recorded that they also prey on domestic animals. Afraid that their domestic animals might get eaten, herders hunt and kill Snow Leopards. Aside from that, illegal poaching is rampant since its body parts are used for traditional Chinese medicine.

In Kyrgyzstan, a group of conservationist, Snow Leopard Trust collaborate with local communities to protect the big cats. Scientists estimate that there may be only 3,920 to 6,309 snow leopards left in the world.