Wildlife extinction is a global crisis. Poaching often makes the news, but habitat loss and environmental pollution are also the main killers.
Climate change will cause one in six species on the planet will be lost forever if we fail to act on the crisis, according to a 2015 study.
There are currently 17 animals on the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) list as critically endangered, including three rhino species, six primates and two big cats.
Five of the species on the list have about 100 or fewer animals left on the planet, including the Saola, of which there are only about 20 still in circulation.
What is a Saola and why is it the fastest declining animal in the world?
Deep in the remote Annamite mountains of Laos e Vietnam lives a species known as the ‘Asian unicorn’, or Saola.
It is such a rare animal that biologists have never seen it in person in the wild nature and it is so unknown that there is not a single one in captivityanywhere on Earth.
It is so endangered that if not found soon, it will surely go extinct.
A group of scientists plan to embark on an unprecedented two-year search to find some of the only remaining Saolas and establish a breeding program to save them. They are building one of the most specialized wildlife monitoring never-before-seen teams, integrating indigenous wildlife detectors, specially trained detection dogs and state-of-the-art DNA tracking technology.
They are just waiting for the investment to start. So to help save the rarest land mammal on the face of the Earth, you can do it here.
These are the top 10 most endangered species
Although all species on WWF’s list of endangered species are at risk, some of them are on the verge of extinction.
Ethical travel company Volunteering Solutions looked at the official list to find out which species are dwindling the fastest.
10. Probe Tiger
This masterful tiger, originally from Indonesiait is declining at a rate of 19 percent every decade.
9. Sumatran elephant
As one of the three recognized subspecies of Asia ElephantSumatra is also native to Indonesia and is declining at a rate of 19% every decade.
8. Bornean orangutan
These highly intelligent orangutans they are native to Borneo and are decreasing at a rate of 20% every decade.
7. Eastern lowland gorilla
The majestic eastern plain gorilla, sometimes called Grauer’s gorilla, is endemic to the mountainous forests of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. They are decreasing at a rate of 24% every decade.
6. Yangtze finless porpoise
This rare and endangered Chinese river porpoise it is declining at a rate of 33 percent every decade.
5. Sumatran rhinoceros
Sumatran rhinos are the smallest of the living rhinos and the only Asian rhino with two horns. Unfortunately, they are decreasing at a rate of 35% every decade.
4. African forest elephant
The African forest elephant is native to the humid forests of West and Africa Congo Basinthe species is decreasing by 47% every decade.
3. Gorilla crossing the river
This increasingly rare great ape lives in the wooded hills and mountains of the Cameroon– Border region with Nigeria at the source of the Cross River (Nigeria). The species is declining at a rate of 51% every decade.
The vaquita is a small porpoise it is found only in the Northern Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) in Mexico and is an animal that always seems to smile.
The species is declining at a rate of 76% every decade, meaning it is likely to become completely extinct by 2050.
The Saola, also called “Asian Unicorn”, is a beautiful bovine creature and one of the rarest large mammals in the world. It lives in the forests of the Annamite chain of Vietnam and Laos.
Saola is declining by a whopping 80% every decade, which means it is likely to go completely extinct by 2050.
How to prevent species from becoming extinct?
You may not think that keeping animals from becoming extinct is a job you can do on your own. But just like using a reusable water bottle or taking a canvas bag to the grocery store if we all thought so sustainable lifestyles have not worked – we would get nothing.
There are little things you can do that could have a significant impact on wildlife around the world. By taking just a few habits around the house, you could make a difference for endangered species.
Here is a list of things you can do, according to the World Animal Foundation.
Do not use harsh chemicals at home
Toxic chemicals used in laundry, cleaning, dishwashing and personal care products end up in groundwater, poisoning aquatic life and the animals that eat it.
Choose non-toxic products or make your own.
Dispose of waste properly
Recycle plastic, paper, metal and glass cans. When you take out the trash canmake sure the bag is securely sealed so you don’t accidentally get dirty.
Hazardous compounds such as car fluids, paints, bleach, batteries and pesticides must be disposed of properly in a specialized facility, otherwise they risk making their way into the environment, where animals can encounter them.
Prevent soil erosion
Take all necessary steps to prevent soil erosion in your area and protect the water resources used by wild animals nearby.
For example, when clearing vegetation, you need to make sure that any loose sediments are kept away from natural waterways.
Maintain a healthy garden
Populate yours garden with native plants and ask local experts to help you fight any invasive plant species. Replace toxic pesticides and herbicides with safer options. Often sterilize bird feeders and baths to prevent the spread of disease.
And stop wild animals from raiding pet bowls by bringing pet food indoors at night.
Support an organization fighting to save endangered species
If you care a lot about saving a particular habitat or endangered species, seek out an organization on a mission and volunteer or make a donation.
Lead by example
As you learn more about how to protect endangered wildlife, you will become more able to pass that knowledge on to other people. It is more efficient to share your efforts and relevant experiences with friends and family, rather than simply flooding them with do’s and don’ts.
Leading by example is the most effective way to show people how to start changing their lives.