When I was a kid, I didn’t know that humans were causing hundreds of species to disappear forever.
Then I read a book about endangered animals.
It made me feel quite hopeless—it’s easy to feel hopeless in the face of deforestation, pollution and poaching.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, up to 0.1 percent of all species become extinct every year.
That’s between 100 and 1000 times higher than under natural conditions.
But it’s not all bad news, as this amazing video tells us. Over the entire world, conservation organizations and groups are fighting to save rapidly disappearing animals from extinction. And, species by species, many of them are being saved.
Here are the top ten endangered animals brought back from the brink of extinction.
It’s beautiful and inspiring, and above all, it tells us that we really can make a change in the face of environmental issues. If conservation is working for these guys, it can work for more.
Watch this positive film for that hopeful make-a-difference feeling:
10. Siberian Tiger
They are the biggest cats on the planet with a weight of 300kg. That’s the same as 2 sumo wrestlers! In the 1940s, there were less than 40 Siberian Tigers. Now, they’re back up to around 450.
09. Gray Whale
These huge mammals were nearly hunted to extinction in the 19th century. Since 1947 numbers have recovered to 23,000. Their only predators are killer whales–and humans.
08. Bermuda Petrel
For 300 years these birds were thought to be extinct. Then, in 1951, 18 nesting pairs were found. There are about 250 Bermuda Petrels alive today.
07. Mountain Gorilla
They were predicted to be extinct by the year 2000 due to habitat destruction. Now, mountain gorillas have reached a population of 750.
06. North American Bison
Hunted viciously in the nineteenth century, these endangered animals fell from 40 million to under 1000. They now number 500,000, with 20,000 living in the wild.
Considered to be the only wild horse in the world, in 1945 there were only 12 breeding takhi. Breeding programs have raised numbers to over 600 across 16 countries.
04. Golden Lion Tamarin
This Brazilian monkey commonly gives birth to twins. Deforestation led the population to drop to only 200 monkeys 30 years ago. Around 1000 live in the wild today.
03. Southern White Rhino
Poached mainly for their horns, the early 20th century saw only 75 southern whites in existence. Now a protected species, the population has risen to over 16,000.
02. Tu Long Alligator
Tu Long means “muddy dragon” in Chinese and it is now one of only two alligator species in the world. Fewer than 200 exist in the wild, with several thousand in captivity.
01. Bald Eagle.
Source of top ten: Transcript from video
Listen to this Green Divas Radio Show to learn what climate change really means to wildlife.
~ Asst. Ed. Green Diva Anne-Marie | Images via shutterstock.com