The Top 10 Most Endangered Species
According to the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) the top 10 most endangered species are:
- Black Rhino The Black Rhino is native to southern and east Africa. Since 1970, the Black Rhino population has declined by 90% to less than 3,000. They are killed primarily for their horns. Trade of Black Rhinos has been banned for more than twenty years. Although having banned trading of the species, there still continues to be a great demand for Rhino parts.
- Giant Panda The Giant Panda is native to China. Fewer
than 1,000 remain in their native habitat of China. The main reason for
their decline is due to loss of natural habitat and poaching.
- Tiger Tigers are native to tropical zones in Southeast Asia
and temperate regions like the Russian Far East. Less than 6,000 tigers
remain in the wild. The most urgent threat to tigers is poaching
for body parts and bones used in traditional Asian medicines.
- Beluga Sturgeon Beluga sturgeons are ancient living fish fossils are found in the Caspian Sea. They are valued
throughout the world by connoisseurs for their superior quality caviar. Poaching is out of control due to excessive demand and high prices paid
for the Sturgeons' "pearl-like" caviar.
- Goldenseal Goldenseal is a herb is favored by naturopathists for its
perceived ability to heal numerous ailments from hemorrhoids to allergies. Goldenseal is native to the hardwood forests of North America. The demand for Goldenseal has recently leaped more than 30%.
- Alligator Snapping Turtle The alligator snapping turtle is prized by turtle trappers and dealers for its rare meat. It is the largest freshwater turtle in North America. Alligator snapping turtles are quickly being depleted due to increased shipments to many
international world markets including Asia.
- Hawksbill Turtle the Hawksbill turtle is found mainly around tropical reefs. The three foot length
Hawksbill Turtle species, named for its distinctive snout, is becoming
extremely vulnerable due to their slow reproduction rates and high
volume of illegal trade for the prized jewel-like "tortoise shell."
- Big Leaf Mahogany Demand for the red colored wood goes unabated because of worldwide
consumer demand for quality mahogany hardwood furniture. Mahogany trees are
widely distributed in tropical forests from Mexico to the Amazon Basin. However,
the species grows naturally only as individual trees rather than in
large forest stands. Wholesale stripping of Amazon forests has resulted
in perhaps 70 per cent of the world's supply being depleted.
- Green-Cheeked Parrot The Green-cheeked parrot is native to Mexico. It has the ability to
mimic the human voice. The Green-cheeked parrot has been significantly reduced in numbers due to
a huge demand for these lovely pet birds, especially from the United
States. Even after prohibiting the sale of these green-cheeked birds,
droves of the species are still being illegally traded across the
- Mako Shark The Mako Shark is highly sought for its tender meat, and especially in Asian markets, for their shark fins which have even greater value for medicinal purposes. Some of the species are merely stripped of their prized fins by the international fishing fleets and then are thrown back into the depths, left to die.