The theory of evolution says that man has an ancestral origin related to the apes. It says that man was derived from animals and that the earlier beings that ruled the Earth were animals. Slowly and gradually men took over the power and dominated the world. Until the advent of industrialization man animals and plants existed or rather co existed in harmony. Neither of the three was affected by the others presence. But things have changed and in the last 50 years it can be seen that man has exploited his intelligence and the nature around to such an extent that the other forms of life the animals and the plants and every other form of life has been affected drastically. Not only they have been affected it has come to a point that there are questions being raised whether these beings will make it to the next decade or century. Hundreds of species that once walked the ground with grace or swam across the globe with all might have vanished already and many are on the verge of disappearing. When this came to notice various steps were taken and organizations were formed that framed laws to protect these species that have fallen vulnerable. The ICUN ( International Union for Conservation of Nature ) is a regulatory body that keeps a record of the decline and improvement in the total population of animals across the globe. The following are the top 10 endangered species from the 100 animals listed in IUCN Red list of endangered species in 2012.
10. Right Whale.
I know its a strange name but it has a reason behind it which I will just tell you. This whale is found in 3 species and is almost all over the Atlantic and Pacific ocean having specific names like Northern Right Whale and Southern Right Whale etc. It often stays near to the surface of water. The important feature of this whale is that it is a rich source of whale oil which is very important commercially and fetches a very good price in the market. When this whale is dead it starts floating on water due to its blubber content of the body. Due to this hunters found this whale perfect as a pray or in other words found it “right” for hunting. Hence it got the name. Due to this the species joined the list of endangered species long back and then laws were framed to stop this hunting of whales. They still have a very limited population with southern right whale the closest to extinction.
Vaquita is another aquatic animal in the list Of IUCN. Vaquita is a Spanish word and it means a small cow. Vaquita is a highly endangered species with only about 150 of its population still in the waters. These are not hunted as such and the reason behind their declining population is an indirect affect of hunting. The huge gill nets spreading the ocean to capture other fishes also capture Vaquita or hurt them badly. each year it is estimated that around 40-5- Vaquita die this way due to gill nets. Various measures are taken and setting up gill nets in their territory has been prohibited lowering their rate of declining.
8. Greater Bamboo Lemur.
This is a species of lemur and probably the biggest of the lemurs. They weigh around two and half kilograms. They feed on the bamboo shoots, leaves, and stems. It was thought that the greater bamboo lemur has become extinct. But in the year 1986 some animals were found and again a research was undertaken to find this species again. It is said that there are only around 60 – 100 animals in the natural habitat. The reason for their species being at a risk is destruction of their habitat and source of food that is bamboo. The IUCN has placed it in the critically endangered species and various measures are been taken to protect them.
7. Mako Shark.
Mako is a species of shark that has a has peculiar fins and a long snout towards the mouth. They are found as both short fins and long fins Mako sharks. The short fins Mako is more of a swimmer and predator due to its better fin modification than the long fin Mako. This species is also listed in the IUCN Red list of endangered animals in the vulnerable category. The reason for their declining population is the demand of their fins in the market. It is a very expensive fishery product and a fin soup can cost you around 100$ for one bowl. They are hunted illegally for their fins and at times the fish is thrown back into the ocean after removing the fins. The fish cannot survive without the fins and dies away gradually.
6. Leather Back Sea Turtle.
This is probably the largest of the sea turtles with adults growing up to the length of 6 to 7 feet and the flippers expanding up to 2 to 3 meters in fully grown up adults. They are the only turtles which are devoid of a shell that is hard and stony. Their shell is composed of oily and fleshy mass that has a tear drop shape. They need to come on the sandy shores to lay eggs and it is on land that the eggs hatch. They are endangered because of accidental hunting , eating of plastic waste in water and encroachment of shores where they lay eggs. They need to be protected as they currently are in the critically endangered category.
5. Mountain Gorllia.
The mountain gorillas are exclusively found in Africa in two species. One of the two is more abundantly found in the Central African national parks and in Congo. The other species is protected in a non trespassing forest. They are critically endangered with only around 800 of them present today. They often get caught in traps not meant for them but other animals. They also are killed when they try to protect the young ones from poachers. Even diseases contracted from tourists and other cattle lead to their death. Various measures are being taken to protect them and their population number is continuously under check to prevent any more decline.
Rhinoceros is one of the largest mammals on land. Depending upon their land of habitat they are put into species Sumatran Rhino , Javan Rhino and Indian rhino etc. The Indian Rhino is the largest one horned rhino and probably the safest of the rhino species although still an endangered one with around 3000 animals in the wild. The other rhinos are hunted drastically for their valuable horn that fetches enormous profit in the black market around 30,000 $ for 1 kg. They are now confined to sanctuaries and conserved areas with total population of only around 40 animals.
3. Amur Leopard.
The Amur Leopard is a type of leopard and is on the list of critically endangered species on the IUCN Red list of animals. It was notified as the endangered species in the year 1996 itself. In the year 2007 only around 20 adults and around 5 infants were recorded. Till today the number remains restricted to around 28 only confined to Russia and China. They are vigorously hunted for their beautifully spotted skin that fetches a great price in the market. They are under strict surveillance and all the measures are being taken to protect them.
2. Giant Panda.
This is the panda beat that also is the symbol of the organization WWF that works for the protection of animals. The giant panda is a white and black stripped bear that remains exclusively in the bamboo jungles of China. It is a carnivore that occasionally eats birds and rodents but almost 99% is bamboo. The destruction of its habitat due to farming and settlement has led to their population decline at an alarming rate. Although the latest survey suggests that the number has increased considerably and that they are now a vulnerable species and not an endangered one .But IUCN still maintains the endangered mark for the giant panda.
Tiger is one of the most beautiful animals on land. Needless to say it is the national animal of India as well as Bangladesh. The mighty Bengal tiger is highly valued throughout the world. The Siberian tiger too is the few tiger species that is left. It is adapted to stay in the cold. The species is on the verge of extinction due to tremendous hunting owing to its beautiful skin that is highly valuable in the black market as a decor and clothing accessory. The Indian government has framed strict laws to protect this being confining it to protected reserves.