A-Z animal list

Top 10 Endangered Animals in the World

by Nadine Oraby

Is our ecosystem fast (and somewhat furiously) heading to a point of no return!?

Well, the Earth is home to an incredible ecosystem! And all animals have a role to play in this delicate balance of life. Sadly, many animals in the wild are fast going the dodo way!

In fact, did you know according to a recent estimate – wildlife populations have cut by half since 1970! And as many as 42000 animals are now endangered around the world!

To read about animals that once roamed (or swam) the Earth, check our list of 14 Extinct Animals In The World!

Without further ado, presenting to you our list of 10 most endangered species of fauna in the world!

1. Black Rhinos

Scientific name: Diceros bicornis

Black rhinos are native to Africa. With their last remaining populations in Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe!

Unfortunately, poaching and illegal horn trade have been disastrous for rhinos! Brutally slaughtered for their hides & traditionally valuable horns – these spectacular creatures are worth all your time and good vibes.

Fun fact: Did you know Black rhinos stand up to 5.2 feet and weigh about 3080 lbs – making them one of the heaviest land mammals on Earth!

2. Snow Leopard

Scientific name: Panthera uncia

One of the rarest big cats, snow leopards is hands-down the most majestic-looking animal on our list! (But please don’t tell the others!)

Native to parts of Central Asia, snow leopards, as name alludes, live in mountainous areas – spanning from Bhutan, India to China.

Dotted patterns contrast well against a white underbelly = making this creature the epitome of feline grace!

Sadly, only 6600 snow leopards are still alive in 2023. Hunting and climate change being some of the biggest reasons these glorious kitties are so endangered!

Fun fact: China has the largest population of snow leopards (2000 to 2500)!

3. Cross River Gorillas

Scientific name: Gorilla gorilla diehli

With less than 300 left in the wild, the Cross River Gorilla is one of most endangered gorilla species in the world! And their last remaining populations are only two African countries – Nigeria and Cameroon.

Gorillas, who share an alarming 98.3% of DNA with humans, belong to the Hominidae family!

Unfortunately, gorillas have a low reproductive rate. With females birthing only once in 5 to 6 years.

Fun fact: Did you know humans are more closely related to chimpanzees and bonobos than any specie of gorilla!

4. Soala

Scientific name: Pseudoryx nghetinhensis

In 1992, the world was introduced to a new animal! The Soala.

Often dubbed the Asian unicorn, the soala is one of the rarest mammals we have seen )or have we?!\

Found in the Annamite mountains of Vietnam, soalas are most recognizable for two things: their parallel horns – each up to 50 cm in length, and beautiful white markings on their face,

Why Are Soalas So Endangered?

These poor things often get trapped in snares set up for other animals like boars. Which is one of the main reasons they are at risk of extinction. Another reason is loss of habitat from construction and climate change.

5. The Whale Shark

Scientific name: Rhincodon typus

The Whale Shark is the largest fish in the world, and has been spotted in all ocean of the planet!

A surface swimmer and plankton-eater, this shark can to dive to up to 1.2 miles!

Sadly, going from vulnerable to endangered in status, this iconic fish is now a big-time target of the fishing industry. Especially in parts of southern China where it is hunted by local fisheries!

If you live in or near Georgia, you might wanna check out the work of Georgia Aquarium in helping this vulnerable animal!

6.Hawksbill Sea Turtle

Scientific name: Eretmochelys imbricata

One of the oldest living reptiles, the Hawskill Sea Turtle has been around for 100 million years!

Now critically endangered, these sea turtles have helped maintain the health of coral reefs and sea grass beds for eons!

Commonly found in shallow waters, did you know these sea turtles can held their breath underwater for more than 7 hours straight!

Unfortunately, their distinctively patterned shells not only make them beautiful – but also more vulnerable to illegal wildlife trade. With hunters selling their tortoiseshells for staggering amounts of money!

They are also susceptible to the effects of increasing water pollution and climate change.

What Can You Do?

  • Know if there are any endangered species in your area.
  • Always use eco-friendly products
  • Plant trees & plants
  • Volunteer for a local animal sanctuary
  • Create awareness about endangered animals
  • Don’t use toxic herbicides or pesticides
  • Help raise money for animal related causes

7. The Indus River Dolphin

Scientific name: Platanista gangetica

Known for a smiley face & high IQ, dolphins are fascinating animals!

Sadly, some dolphin species like the Indus River Dolphin are facing a major threat of being wiped out for good!

But what is so different about this blind South Asian dolphin? Well, for starters – while most dolphins are marine-loving – =this one lives in freshwaters like the Indus and Ganges river systems.

Pollution, gill-netting, and climate change are major threats they face. Making them one of the rarest and most endangered species in the world!

Fun fact: A female Indus River Dolphin is typically larger than its male counterpart!

8. Okapi

Scientific name: Okapia johnstoni

Is it a zebra? Or a horse. Who can really say!

Much to our shock, the Okapi is actually a relative of the giraffe!

Native to the forests of Congo, okapis are known for their incredible sense of hearing! A result of their large, upright ears.

Widely hunted for meat and skin, this wildlife-mix is a feast for the eye. Okapis were classified by the IUCN as an endangered specie back in 2008. And sadly enough, as of now, only 30,000 to 35000 individuals are still among us!

Fun fact: Only the male Okapi has horns!

7 Reasons Why Animals Are Going Extinct!

  • Hunting
  • Loss of Habitat
  • Loss of Genetic Diversity
  • Climate change/global warming
  • Genetic Mutations
  • Illegal trade in animal goods
  • Competition for food with other animals
  • Captivity

9. Lemur

Scientific name: Lemuroidea

Does this greyish animal look familiar to you? Well – that’s because you have Moved It to this lemur’s catchy beat in movie Madagascar!

Lemurs are one of the most primitive primates, and their ancestors date back to over 62 million years!

Found in sizes from as little as a mouse to as big as a house-cat, this little fella is a type of porpoise native to the gulf of California! It mostly feeds on a diet of fruits and nuts.


Scientific name: Andrias davidianus

The world’s largest living amphibian, did you know the giant Chinese salamander is a sacred symbol in Chinese culture.

A flagship specie of freshwater rivers in China, this giant lizard can grow up to more than 1.6 meters! That’s massive!

Now threatened by hunting, habitat loss and pollution, this King salamander is facing a risk of extinction. With populations in the wild dropping a whopping 80 percent in the past 50 years alone!

Fun fact: The giant Chinese Salamander can lay up to 500 eggs at one time.

Quick Quiz

Which country has the most endangered animals?


Which global bodies are at the forefront of animal conservation efforts?

ICUN and WWF are two bodies at the forefront of animal conservation.

Which animal specie is biologically immortal?

One jellyfish specie, the Turritopsis dohrnii, is actually able to restart its lifecycle from an earlier stage! (Intrigued? Click here to read more)

How many animals are currently endangered?



If you had a swell time learning about these rare & endangered animals, follow this space for more posts like these! Which of these endangered animals lives in your country? Let us know in comments below!

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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

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