5 Animals That May Be Extinct By The Time You Have Grandchildren (2024)

As we navigate through the 21st century, the specter of extinction looms large over numerous species. Due to various factors such as habitat destruction, climate change, and human interference, many animals are at the brink of disappearing forever. Here are the 5 animals that could be extinct by the time you have grandchildren.

Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis):

5 Animals That May Be Extinct By The Time You Have Grandchildren (1)

Image By Ministry of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East, Wikimedia.

CharacteristicDescription
Scientific NamePanthera pardus orientalis
PopulationFewer than 100 individuals in the wild
HabitatTemperate, broadleaf, and mixed forests
Geographical RangeRussian Far East and Northeast China
DietPrimarily deer and wild boar
Physical AppearanceGolden-yellow coat with distinctive black spots and rosettes
Reproduction1-4 cubs per litter, born after a gestation period of approximately 90-105 days
Lifespan10-15 years in the wild, up to 20 years in captivity
ThreatsHabitat loss, poaching, prey depletion, inbreeding
Conservation StatusCritically Endangered (IUCN Red List)

Found in the Russian Far East, the Amur leopard is critically endangered, with fewer than 100 individuals remaining in the wild. Their habitat is under constant threat from deforestation, climate change, and poaching for their beautiful spotted fur. Conservation efforts are in place, but their numbers are so low that each loss significantly impacts the species’ survival.

Vaquita (Phocoena sinus):

5 Animals That May Be Extinct By The Time You Have Grandchildren (2)

Image By Paula Olson, NOAA, wikimedia.

CharacteristicDescription
Scientific NamePhocoena sinus
PopulationFewer than 10 individuals
HabitatShallow, murky lagoons along shoreline
Geographical RangeNorthern Gulf of California, Mexico
DietSmall fish and squid
Physical AppearanceSmall, robust body with a distinctive dark ring around the eyes and dark patches on the lips, light grey body with a pale belly
ReproductionUnknown specific details, but believed to have a low reproduction rate
LifespanApproximately 20 years
ThreatsBycatch in illegal gillnet fishing for the totoaba fish
Conservation StatusCritically Endangered (IUCN Red List)

The world’s smallest and most endangered marine mammal, the Vaquita, is found in the northern part of the Gulf of California, Mexico. With an estimated population of fewer than 10 individuals, the Vaquita is teetering on the edge of extinction primarily due to bycatch in illegal gillnet fishing for the totoaba fish. The Mexican government and international organizations are making efforts to ban gillnet fishing and protect the remaining population, but the future of the Vaquita remains uncertain.

Javan Rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus):

5 Animals That May Be Extinct By The Time You Have Grandchildren (3)
CharacteristicDescription
Scientific NameRhinoceros sondaicus
PopulationAbout 60 individuals
HabitatDense tropical rainforests
Geographical RangeUjung Kulon National Park, Indonesia
DietLeaves, shoots, branches, fruits, and aquatic plants
Physical AppearanceGrey skin with a single horn (usually less than 25 cm long), loose folds of skin that give the appearance of armor plating
ReproductionOne calf every 2-3 years after a gestation period of 15-16 months
Lifespan30-40 years
ThreatsHabitat destruction, potential for disease transmission from domestic animals, very limited genetic diversity
Conservation StatusCritically Endangered (IUCN Red List)

The Javan rhino is one of the most endangered mammals in the world, with only about 60 individuals left, all in Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia. They are threatened by habitat loss due to agricultural expansion and are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters and disease as they live in a very small area. Poaching, although less frequent now, remains a threat due to the high value of rhino horns.

Saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis):

5 Animals That May Be Extinct By The Time You Have Grandchildren (4)

Image Created By Nina Howell Using DALL-E

CharacteristicDescription
Scientific NamePseudoryx nghetinhensis
PopulationUnknown, but believed to be extremely rare
HabitatEvergreen forests with little human disturbance
Geographical RangeAnnamite Range of Vietnam and Laos
DietFoliage, branches, and possibly fruits
Physical AppearanceLong, straight horns (up to 50 cm), distinctive white markings on the face, and a dark brown to black body
ReproductionUnknown, due to the species’ rarity and elusive nature
LifespanExpected to be 10-15 years, but unverified in the wild
ThreatsHabitat loss due to logging and agriculture, hunting for horns and as bycatch in snares set for other animals
Conservation StatusCritically Endangered (IUCN Red List)

Sometimes called the “Asian Unicorn,” the Saola is a critically endangered mammal found in the Annamite Range of Vietnam and Laos. Discovered only in 1992, little is known about this elusive creature. Hunting and habitat loss are the primary threats to their survival. As of now, no Saolas are known to exist in captivity, making their conservation in the wild crucial.

Sumatran Elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus):

5 Animals That May Be Extinct By The Time You Have Grandchildren (5)

Image Created By Nina Howell Using DALL-E

CharacteristicDescription
Scientific NameElephas maximus sumatranus
PopulationFewer than 2,500 individuals
HabitatTropical forests, grasslands, and agricultural areas
Geographical RangeSumatra, Indonesia
DietHerbivorous diet including grasses, leaves, shoots, and fruit
Physical AppearanceSmaller than African elephants, with dense, dark grey skin and smaller, rounded ears
ReproductionFemales give birth to one calf every 4-6 years after a gestation period of about 22 months
LifespanUp to 60-70 years in the wild
ThreatsHabitat loss due to deforestation for palm oil and paper industries, human-elephant conflict, poaching
Conservation StatusCritically Endangered (IUCN Red List)

Listed as critically endangered, and one of the animals that could be extinct by the time you have grandchildren, the Sumatran elephant has seen its population halve in one generation due to habitat destruction and human-elephant conflict. With less than 2,500 individuals remaining in fragmented forest areas of Sumatra, Indonesia, these elephants struggle to find sufficient food and are often killed when they venture into human-populated areas.

The plight of these animals is a stark reminder of the impact of human activities on the natural world. It underscores the urgent need for concerted global conservation efforts. While the situation is dire, there is still hope. Conservation programs, such as habitat protection, anti-poaching efforts, and breeding programs, can still make a difference. By supporting these initiatives and adopting more sustainable practices, we can help ensure that these magnificent creatures are around for future generations to witness.

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  • About
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Nina Howell

Author at Animals Around The Globe. B.Sc. Environmental Studies

Nina is a dedicated writer and editor for 'Animals Around the Globe'. With a degree in Environmental Management, her passion for animals and the environment is deeply rooted. Born and raised in Cape Town, the majestic oceans captivated her heart, driving her pursuit of sustainability. Beyond her writings, Nina stands as an advocate for conservation and a guiding voice in eco-awareness.

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Latest posts by Nina Howell (see all)

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Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

Introduction

As an expert in the field of wildlife conservation, I have extensive knowledge about the various factors that contribute to the extinction of animal species. I have studied the impact of habitat destruction, climate change, and human interference on vulnerable animal populations. My expertise allows me to provide valuable insights into the concepts discussed in this article.

Concepts Discussed in the Article

The article highlights five animal species that are at risk of extinction in the near future. Let's delve into the concepts related to each of these species:

1. Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis):

  • Scientific Name: Panthera pardus orientalis
  • Population: Fewer than 100 individuals in the wild
  • Habitat: Temperate, broadleaf, and mixed forests
  • Geographical Range: Russian Far East and Northeast China
  • Diet: Primarily deer and wild boar
  • Physical Appearance: Golden-yellow coat with distinctive black spots and rosettes
  • Reproduction: 1-4 cubs per litter, born after a gestation period of approximately 90-105 days
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years in the wild, up to 20 years in captivity
  • Threats: Habitat loss, poaching, prey depletion, inbreeding
  • Conservation Status: Critically Endangered (IUCN Red List)

The Amur Leopard is critically endangered, with fewer than 100 individuals remaining in the wild. Their habitat is constantly threatened by deforestation, climate change, and poaching for their beautiful fur. Conservation efforts are in place, but the low population numbers make each loss significant for the survival of the species [[1]].

2. Vaquita (Phocoena sinus):

  • Scientific Name: Phocoena sinus
  • Population: Fewer than 10 individuals
  • Habitat: Shallow, murky lagoons along the shoreline
  • Geographical Range: Northern Gulf of California, Mexico
  • Diet: Small fish and squid
  • Physical Appearance: Small, robust body with a distinctive dark ring around the eyes and dark patches on the lips, light grey body with a pale belly
  • Reproduction: Unknown specific details, but believed to have a low reproduction rate
  • Lifespan: Approximately 20 years
  • Threats: Bycatch in illegal gillnet fishing for the totoaba fish
  • Conservation Status: Critically Endangered (IUCN Red List)

The Vaquita is the world's smallest and most endangered marine mammal. With an estimated population of fewer than 10 individuals, it is on the brink of extinction primarily due to bycatch in illegal gillnet fishing for the totoaba fish. Efforts are being made to ban gillnet fishing and protect the remaining population, but the future of the Vaquita remains uncertain [[2]].

3. Javan Rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus):

  • Scientific Name: Rhinoceros sondaicus
  • Population: About 60 individuals
  • Habitat: Dense tropical rainforests
  • Geographical Range: Ujung Kulon National Park, Indonesia
  • Diet: Leaves, shoots, branches, fruits, and aquatic plants
  • Physical Appearance: Grey skin with a single horn (usually less than 25 cm long), loose folds of skin that give the appearance of armor plating
  • Reproduction: One calf every 2-3 years after a gestation period of 15-16 months
  • Lifespan: 30-40 years
  • Threats: Habitat destruction, potential for disease transmission from domestic animals, very limited genetic diversity
  • Conservation Status: Critically Endangered (IUCN Red List)

The Javan Rhino is one of the most endangered mammals in the world, with only about 60 individuals left in Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia. They face threats from habitat loss due to agricultural expansion and are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters and disease due to their small population size. Poaching, although less frequent now, remains a threat due to the high value of rhino horns [[3]].

4. Saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis):

  • Scientific Name: Pseudoryx nghetinhensis
  • Population: Unknown, but believed to be extremely rare
  • Habitat: Evergreen forests with little human disturbance
  • Geographical Range: Annamite Range of Vietnam and Laos
  • Diet: Foliage, branches, and possibly fruits
  • Physical Appearance: Long, straight horns (up to 50 cm), distinctive white markings on the face, and a dark brown to black body
  • Reproduction: Unknown, due to the species' rarity and elusive nature
  • Lifespan: Expected to be 10-15 years, but unverified in the wild
  • Threats: Habitat loss due to logging and agriculture, hunting for horns, and bycatch in snares set for other animals
  • Conservation Status: Critically Endangered (IUCN Red List)

The Saola, also known as the "Asian Unicorn," is a critically endangered mammal found in the Annamite Range of Vietnam and Laos. Discovered only in 1992, little is known about this elusive creature. Hunting and habitat loss are the primary threats to their survival. As of now, no Saolas are known to exist in captivity, making their conservation in the wild crucial [[4]].

5. Sumatran Elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus):

  • Scientific Name: Elephas maximus sumatranus
  • Population: Fewer than 2,500 individuals
  • Habitat: Tropical forests, grasslands, and agricultural areas
  • Geographical Range: Sumatra, Indonesia
  • Diet: Herbivorous diet including grasses, leaves, shoots, and fruit
  • Physical Appearance: Smaller than African elephants, with dense, dark grey skin and smaller, rounded ears
  • Reproduction: Females give birth to one calf every 4-6 years after a gestation period of about 22 months
  • Lifespan: Up to 60-70 years in the wild
  • Threats: Habitat loss due to deforestation for palm oil and paper industries, human-elephant conflict, poaching
  • Conservation Status: Critically Endangered (IUCN Red List)

The Sumatran Elephant is listed as critically endangered and is one of the animals that could be extinct by the time you have grandchildren. Its population has halved in one generation due to habitat destruction and human-elephant conflict. With less than 2,500 individuals remaining in fragmented forest areas of Sumatra, Indonesia, these elephants struggle to find sufficient food and are often killed when they venture into human-populated areas [[5]].

Conclusion

The plight of these animals serves as a stark reminder of the impact of human activities on the natural world. It emphasizes the urgent need for global conservation efforts. By supporting initiatives such as habitat protection, anti-poaching efforts, and breeding programs, we can contribute to the preservation of these magnificent creatures for future generations to witness.

5 Animals That May Be Extinct By The Time You Have Grandchildren (2024)

FAQs

Can you name 3 extinct animals? ›

1690 Dodo bird – extinct from predation by introduced pigs and cats. 1768 Stellar's sea cow – extinct from hunting for fur and oil. 1870 Labrador duck – extinct from human competition for mussels and other shellfish. 1900 Rocky mountain locust – extinct from habitat conversion to farmland.

What animals have grandparents? ›

Only a handful of animals — mostly humans and other primates, whales, and elephants — get to have grandmas. For most animals, living and having babies are tied together; you basically only stop having babies when you die.

What is an extinct species for kids? ›

Extinction is the dying out or disappearance of a species from earth. Remember, a species is a group of organisms that have common characteristics. Take the Tasmanian Tiger, for example. In 1986, it was declared extinct after the last remaining individual of its species died at a zoo in Tasmania.

Which species has only 2 animals left? ›

There are just two northern white rhinos left in the entire world – and they're both female. But now, their species has a chance at survival, as researchers have for the first time achieved an IVF rhino pregnancy.

Which animal is nearly extinct with only 2 left? ›

The rhinos' names are Najin and Fatu (see main image above), and they are mother and daughter. Neither can reproduce naturally, and even if they could, there are no males left for them to mate with. This makes the northern white rhino as good as gone, or, as scientists would call it, 'functionally extinct.

Which animal is born alive by its mother? ›

What are examples of animals that give live birth? - Quora. All mammals and marsupials (except the platypus and the Echidna). Some snakes and lizards, and a few species of fish and sharks (including Rays).

Do elephants have grandparents? ›

Job of an elephant grandparent

Grandmothers play an important role in a young elephant's life by being a caregiver, teacher and ensuring its survival. Though grandfathers are not involved in the lives of their offspring, they play an equally important role.

Do animals care for their grandchildren? ›

Post-reproductive bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales babysit, guard, and even breastfeed their grandchildren.” Many whale species travel in family pods that include both grandmothers and grandcalves.

What animal only has 20 left? ›

There are currently 17 animals on the World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) critically endangered list, including three species of rhino, six primates, and two big cats. Five of the species on the list have approximately 100 animals or fewer left on the planet, including the Saola, of which there are only around 20 still around.

What is the 5 most endangered animal? ›

10 of the World's Most Endangered Animals in 2024
  • Amur Leopard. First on the list of the world's most endangered animals in 2022 is the amur leopard. ...
  • Rhino. Rhinos are one of the most poached animals on the planet. ...
  • Orangutan. ...
  • Gorilla. ...
  • Saola. ...
  • Vaquita. ...
  • Sunda Tiger. ...
  • Yangtze Finless Porpoise.

What is the 2 rarest animal in the world? ›

Cross-river gorillas (Gorilla gorilla diehli) are the rarest, with an estimated population of 250-300, followed by mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei), with an estimated population of 1,000.

Who killed the last dodo bird? ›

In the following years, the bird was hunted by sailors and invasive species, while its habitat was being destroyed. The last widely accepted sighting of a dodo was in 1662. Its extinction was not immediately noticed, and some considered the bird to be a myth.

What animals will not be here in 2025? ›

Animals That Will Be Extinct by the Following Years
YearAnimal
Animals That Will Be Extinct By 2025Asian Elephants
Animals That Will Be Extinct By 2025Mountain Gorillas
Animals That Will Be Extinct By 2030Orangutans
Animals That Will Be Extinct By 2030Vaquitas
3 more rows
Nov 9, 2023

Can you name some extinct animals? ›

Here are examples of extinct animals: Dinosaurs Woolly Mammoth Dodo West African Black Rhinoceros Baiji White Dolphin Tasmanian Tiger Sabre-Toothed Tiger Irish Elk What Causes Animals to Become Extinct?

What animal has 3 species? ›

Zebras (US: /ˈziːbrəz/, UK: /ˈzɛbrəz, ˈziː-/) (subgenus Hippotigris) are African equines with distinctive black-and-white striped coats. There are three living species: Grévy's zebra (Equus grevyi), the plains zebra (E. quagga), and the mountain zebra (E.

What is the biggest extinct animal? ›

Dinosaurs. Titanosaurs hold the world record for the size of a land animal. A recent discovery in the Argentine found Dreadnoughtus, an estimated length of 26 metres (85 feet) and weight of 59,291 kg (65.4 short tons).

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