Sep 15

Following on from our feature pages on climate change, the Jewels of the UAE and a range of beautiful eco-regions, the ARKive team is pleased to announce the launch of our new endangered species page. As the aim of the ARKive project is to raise the public profile of the world’s threatened species, through the emotive power of wildlife films and photos, we thought it was about time that the world’s endangered species got a feature page of their own. 

Golden-crowned sifaka photo

Endangered species are those considered to be at risk of extinction, meaning that there are so few left of their kind that they could disappear from the planet altogether.

The current rate of extinction is thought to be far greater than the expected natural rate, with many species going extinct before they have even been discovered. Shockingly, current estimates suggest that a third of the world’s amphibians, a quarter of all mammals and one in eight birds are endangered. Of the nearly 60,000 species assessed by the IUCN Red List so far, this equates to a staggering 19,265 species. 

Hawksbill turtle photo

Turtles are among the world’s most endangered vertebrates, with about half of all turtle species threatened with extinction.

The alarming rate at which species are disappearing is something which should be a cause for concern for us all. Not only do they add beauty and wonder to the natural world, they are also of great global economic importance, providing clean air and water, food, medicines, building and clothing materials and fertile soils.

Black rhinoceros photo

Species face a wide range of threats, from poaching and habitat loss to disease, climate change and pollution.

As well as picking our top 50 endangered species, we have put together a wealth of endangered species information, from why species are facing extinction, to what is being done to protect them and what we can do to help – as we will only succeed in rescuing species from the brink of extinction if people know about their plight, importance and value.

Southern bluefin tuna photo

Human influence has driven many species to the point of extinction. With an individual southern bluefin tuna fetching up to US$ 10,000 in 'sashimi' markets, overfishing means that this species is now Critically Endangered.

Why not take a look today? Has your favourite endangered species made our top 50? Can you add to our endangered species facts? Let us know what you think, we would love to hear from you! 

And finally, don’t forget to keep an eye out on the blog for our endangered species of the week feature!

Claire Lewis, ARKive Media Researcher

  • Melody Lytle (September 15th, 2011 at 9:11 pm):

    Did you know that the Houston toad is probably now extinct? The Central Texas wildfires obliterated 90% of its existing habitat in Bastrop State Park. Before the wildfire, there was a small population living in the park.

  • Birdy (September 18th, 2011 at 1:13 pm):

    It would be cool if the animals in the top 50 would be affected by Facebook “likes”.