As you view the endangered animals on our list of the 10 Most Endangered Animal Species, please keep in mind is that there currently are thousands of birds and animals that may not be with us in a couple of decades. The many threats facing the world’s wildlife include habitat loss—in many cases due to the rapid destruction of the world’s rain forests—as well as illegal hunting (which has increased astronomically in recent years), and global climate change, which is having a great effect even on wildlife habitat this is not being directly destroyed by humans.
Scientists have estimated that over the course of Earth’s history, anywhere between 1 and 4 billion species have existed.
The natural extinction rate (aka background rate) describes how fast plants, mammals, birds and insects would die off if humans weren’t in the picture. It is estimated that today species are disappearing at almost 1,000 times the natural rate, meaning we’re losing around 150-200 species every single day.
Choosing animals that are likely to go extinct before your children have the opportunity to see them was a daunting task.
By only picking 10, we had to leave out countless other animals that are facing similar depressing circumstances. But millions of other species, many never known to science, are also likely to perish in the coming decades.