10 New Endangered Animals for 2012
1. The Sumatran OrangutanFound only in Indonesia, its population has declined alarmingly mainly due to timber exploitation that destroys their habitat.
2. The Leatherback TurtleThe only of its kind that has no hard shell, the Leatherback Turtle is found in the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. They have been threatened by overfishing, habitat destruction and exploitation of their bones.
3. The TigerRecent studies indicate there are only ~3,200 tigers in their natural habitat due to hunting and deforestation.
4. The VaquitaThe Vaquita is a rare species of porpoise. It is estimated there are only 150 left in the Gulf of Mexico. The decline is believed to be due to becoming trapped in fishermen’s nets.
5. Javan RhinocerosIn October 2011, they became extinct in Vietnam. There are only 50 left in Indonesia. This is due to poachers killing them for their horns, a problem that affects all rhino species.
6. Bluefin TunaWith its meat used in the preparation of sushi, the fishing industry continues to harvest 60,000 tons each year.
7. Snow LeopardThe total wild population of the snow leopard was estimated to be only 4,000 to 6,500. It lives in the Himalayan mountains of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China and Nepal.
8. Mountain GorillaConservation efforts have led to an apparent increase in overall population of the mountain gorilla — around 480 gorillas now inhabit that region. The overall sub-population is now believed to be approximately 790.
9. Asian ElephantInhabiting the jungle in southern Asia, these elephants are endangered due to habitat destruction and poaching for their desired tusk. Besides habitat loss and poaching, fencing along the India-Bangladesh border has become a major impediment to the free movement of elephants.
10. Irrawaddy DolphinThe Irrawaddy Dolphin inhabits a river in the province of Kratie and Khone Falls on the border of Laos (Asia). There are only 85 of these left worldwide. Entanglement in fishnets and degradation of habitats are the main threats to Irrawaddy dolphins. Conservation efforts are being made at international and national levels to alleviate these threats.
How You Can HelpIf you want to help, we know of no better place to give than the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), where saving wildlife is their core mission.
[sources: wwf, elt, wikipedia]