With the world becoming more uninhabitable due to the effects of global warming and other man-made causes, an increasingly large number of animals on the planet are becoming endangered. The most urgent cases, as determined by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
(commonly known as IUCN), are classified as critically endangered animals.
, you can find information about all types of endangered species - from those of least concern all the way to the animals that are extinct. However, if you want to make a difference in the world today, the critically endangered animals is the group to target. These animals have seen (or are projected to see) their population in three generations decrease by at least 80%.
Animals on the Red List
Currently on the Red List are nearly 1,700 critically endangered animals and nearly 1,600 critically endangered plants, lichens, algae and fungi. Here's a look at just some of the animals that may cease to exist if people don't intervene and offer aid:
Native to the central and eastern sections of the African continent, the Black Rhinoceros can be more than five feet tall and over 12 feet in length.
The Silvery Gibbon, which lives on the island of Java, has distinct grayish blue skin and a dark gray cap on its head.
Giant Sable Antelope
Found almost exclusively in the African country of Angola, many of these animals were killed during the Angolan civil war.
Found on the Channel Islands of California, the Island Fox is also known as the Channel Islands Fox and the Coast Fox.
A decade ago, many Dama Gazelles roamed the Sahara desert. Today, there are approximately 2,000 left in the world.
This monkey, which has a black and white coat, is found in the woods of Ghana and also in the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire.
Visayan Warty Pig
Although rarely seen in their natural environment, Nisayan Warty Pigs live in packs and get their name from the warts that appear on their bodies.
Generous estimates put the Riverine Rabbit's population at 200. This rabbit lives in South Africa's Karoo Desert.
Although similar to the African Leopard, the Barbary Leopard has adapted to the deserts of Africa by not needing to drink water for weeks.
This vulture with a red cap lives in the southern parts of Asia and can grow as long as four feet in length.
Due to shrinking habitat, disease and hunting in its native country of Cambodia, only 250 Kouprey are believed to be in existence.
On the next page, learn more about other critically endangered animals and find out how you can help.
Living in the Ganges River in India, this fresh water shark is usually brown or gray in color.
Of the two camel species still around, the Bactrian Camel is distinguished by the twin humps on their backs.
Before hoards of people populated what is now the United States, large numbers of Red Fox called the area between Florida and Texas home.
Residing in the northern parts of the Sumatra island Indonesia, the Sumatran Orangutan can live up to 55 years in captivity.
Great Philippine Eagle
This type of eagle is also known as the Monkey-eating Eagle because it feeds on monkeys in addition to snakes, lizards and colugos.
Although smaller than the alligators seen in the United States, the Chinese Alligator can reach a size of more than five feet.
Huge in size, the Siberian Tiger is the largest cat in the Felidae family. It lives in the wild in both Russia and China.
New Guinea Big-eared Bat
As the name suggests, this bat lives in Papua New Guinea. Due to the continuing loss of its natural land, fewer and fewer of these bats exist.
Feeding off krill, fish and barnacles, the Chatham Albatross calls New Zealand home.
Golden Bamboo Lemur
With less than a thousand Golden Baboo Lemurs living in its native Madagascar, this animal is in desperate need of protection.
Anderson's Mouse Opossum
Living in the South American country of Peru, Anderson's Mouse Opossum is also known as the Heavy Browned Mouse Opossum.
Atlantic Goliath Grouper
Found in shallow waters, the Atlantic Goliath Grouper can be found off the coast of Brazil and in the Caribbean Sea.
Siau Scops Owl
Although officially listed as critically endangered, many experts fear that the Siau Scops Owl may already be extinct.
How you can help
offers a variety of ways to help. Individuals can join the Species Survival Commission. With more than 7,000 members, the commission is continuously in action trying to save the critically endangered animals throughout the world.
Organizations can become a International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources member, while both organization and individuals are able to donate to the cause. Donations can be made to the broad organization or to aid a specific endeavor.
Donating your time is also an option. You can work on one of their many project sites, help distribute IUCN publications or volunteer at one of the more than 60 worldwide IUCN offices.
You can also look around the web for other ways to contribute to endangered animal charities, including Endangered Species International
, International Fund for Animal Welfare
and The World Wildlife Foundation
. As with all charity donations, be sure to do your research to insure you are giving to a worthwhile cause and that the money is going to the right place.