Earth’s diversity can amaze you with its vast and unique set of fauna. Some creatures are high in population while there are few whose population has been declining rapidly in the past years and these are on the brink of extinction. They are hunted and smuggled and if drastic preventive measures are not taken right now, then they will be lost forever. According to studies, there are at least 35 such different animals which have slightest chances of survival and existence as their current world population is under 1000. Here is a list of 10 such creatures which can be counted as rarest of rare and need immediate actions for conservation and reintroduction.
10. Javan Rhino
The Javan Rhinoceros or the Sunda Rhinoceros is from the same genus as Indian Rhinoceros and has a horn smaller than other rhino species. Once this specie could be largely found in the islands of Java and Sumatra and in India and China. But now this is a critically endangered specie. The poaching of Javan Rhinoceros is a common practice specially for its horn which is considered valuable in Chinese traditional medicines. Also the wars in Southeast Asia, like Vietnam War caused the loss of habitat and these factors substantially caused a decline in population of this specie. Currently its population is as few as 40 individuals in Ujung Kulon National Park and none in captivity.
9. Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat
Northern hairy nosed wombat is a critically endangered creature which is one of the three species of wombats. Its nose plays a vital role in its survival since it has poor eyesight but can smell its food in dark. Historically, this wombat existed in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland but its population has been declining through the last 100 years. The northern hairy nosed wombat lives in dry harsh environment and has to fight for its food with domesticated animals like cow and sheep. This is cited as a reason for it to become endangered. Currently, the only habitat of these wombats is the Epping National Forest Park where their population is being tried to recover and owing to the preservation activities, right now their population is more than 100.
8. Iberian Lynx
Iberian Lynx is a carnivorous mammal which is native to Iberian Peninsula in Southern Europe. This is the most endangered cat species which has been pushed to the brink of extinction due to habitat loss, vehicle strikes, poaching, feral dogs and sometimes chronic renal illness. The diseases, hunting and poaching of its primary prey the European rabbit has also been a major cause for its population decline as the Iberian Lynx is unable to alter its diet. Consequently now it occurs only in isolated pockets of southwestern Spain where its population is 84-143 adults.
7. Tamaraw (Dwarf Water Buffalo)
Tamara, a small hoofed mammal used to exist in the island of Mindora in Philipinnes and currently its existence is restricted to Mount Iglit-Baco National Park, around Mount Aruyan/Sablayan, and in the Mount Calavite Tamaraw Preserve. This species was declared as critically endangered in 2008 with only 300 individuals surviving presently. The primary cause of the decline has been loss of habitat due to farming, cattle ranching and expansion of urban areas. This mammal is also illegally hunted and can suffer from livestock diseases which further puts in into the rare category.
6. Red Wolf
Red Wolf is a North American Canid and is a smaller and slender species which is cousin to the grey wolf. This species is extensively hunted due to which the plentiful population once found throughout the Southeastern US is now on the verge of extinction. Many programs and conservation activities are trying to restore its population and owing to them there are more than 100 red wolves living today.
5. Hispid Hare
Hispid Hare is also known as Assam Rabbit and it could previously be spotted along the southern foothills of Himalayan mountain chain, precisely in Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, Bengal, Assam, Bhutan and Nepal. This species lives in tall grasses but due to habitat destruction its current population is much less than what it used to be. Hunting is also a major cause that Hispid Hare is today one of the rarest mammals in world. In 2001, its population was recorded to be 110 and its survival in future is uncertain.
4. Vancouver Island Marmot
Vancouver Island marmot is one of the 14 marmot species which naturally resides only in high mountains of Vancouver Island, Canada. But development of ski slopes resulted in destruction of its habitat and consequently Vancouver Island Marmot became a critically endangered species. This species feared extinction in 1990s but a successful program called The Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Foundation helped in reviving its population which includes many individuals in captivity and several getting released to restore population in their natural habitat.
3. Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth
The Pygmy Three-toed sloth or the dwarf sloth is a native to Isla Escuda de Veraguass, which is an island off the Panama coast. Since the population has always been the restricted to a small island, it has presumably been always low. Moreover the island is visited by fishermen, who hunt them and also lobster divers and local people who can be a threat to these sloths. In 2011, there were only 79 Pygmy three toed Sloths found and there is an urgent need for conservation programs to ensure their survival.
2. Seychelles Sheath-tailed Bat
Seychelles Sheath-tailed Bat is a sac winged bat occurring in Central Granitic Islands of Seychelles. Once known to be abundant, this species is now extinct on most islands. Like many other endangered species, the Seychelles Sheath-tailed Bat has also suffered habitat deterioration which was caused by the introduction of plant species in mid to late 20th century. Presently there are fewer than 100 such bats existing on Earth with the largest surviving roost living on the Silhouette Island while some small roosts exist in Mahe, Praslin and La Digue Islands. Enough research is required to gain substantial information about this species so that conservation and reintroduction programs can be initiated but scientists believe that 500 individuals can be sufficient in order to ensure the persistence if these bats on Earth.
1. Pinta Island tortoise
Pinta Island tortoise is certainly one of the rarest species with only one individual known in existence of late. This species is one of the Giant Galapagos tortoises and is a native to Ecuador’s Pinta Islands. Due to hunting the population of these tortoises largely vanished and a single male named the “Lonesome George” lived the longest. Efforts were made but no mate could be found for George and viable eggs also could not be produced. Last year on June 24th, Lonesome George died and the species was believed to become extinct. However, 17 first generation hybrids have been discovered at Wolf Volcano on Isabela Island which discarded the extinction of Pinta Island Tortoises but it continues to be an endangered species.