10 Endangered Species Facing Extinction in 10 Years Without Urgent Action

The planet is home to a diverse array of wildlife, but many species are currently facing the threat of extinction due to human activities, habitat loss, climate change, poaching, and other factors. Without immediate and concerted efforts to protect these endangered species, they may disappear from the face of the Earth within the next decade. In this article, we highlight 10 critically endangered species that are at risk of extinction in 10 years if we do not take action to preserve them.

Photo credit: WWF –

1. Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis)
The Amur leopard, native to the Russian Far East and northeastern China, is one of the rarest big cats in the world. With an estimated population of fewer than 100 individuals in the wild, the Amur leopard is threatened by habitat loss, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict.

2. Vaquita (Phocoena sinus)
The vaquita, a small porpoise endemic to the Gulf of California, is the most critically endangered marine mammal. With only around 10 individuals remaining, the vaquita is threatened by illegal gillnet fishing, which unintentionally traps and kills these elusive creatures.

3. Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)
The Sumatran rhinoceros, found in Indonesia and Malaysia, is the smallest and hairiest rhino species. With fewer than 80 individuals left in fragmented populations, the Sumatran rhino is threatened by habitat loss, poaching for its horn, and low genetic diversity.

4. Javan Rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus)
The Javan rhinoceros, native to Indonesia and Vietnam, is one of the rarest large mammals on Earth. With only around 60 individuals remaining in a single population, the Javan rhino is at risk from habitat loss, poaching, and natural disasters.

5. Northern White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum cottoni)
The northern white rhinoceros, once widespread in Central Africa, is on the brink of extinction. With only two remaining females, efforts to save the species through assisted reproductive technologies are underway, but the future remains uncertain for this iconic rhino.

6. Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)
The hawksbill sea turtle, known for its beautiful shell, is critically endangered due to habitat destruction, poaching for its shell, climate change, and pollution. Without immediate conservation measures, this species may disappear within a decade.

7. Saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis)
The saola, also known as the “Asian unicorn,” is a rare and elusive antelope species found in the Annamite Mountains of Vietnam and Laos. With an estimated population of fewer than 100 individuals, the saola is threatened by habitat loss, hunting, and lack of protection.

8. Cross River Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli)
The Cross River gorilla, found in the border region between Nigeria and Cameroon, is one of the most endangered gorilla subspecies. With fewer than 300 individuals remaining, the Cross River gorilla is threatened by habitat loss, poaching, and human encroachment.

9. Yangtze Finless Porpoise (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis)
The Yangtze finless porpoise, native to the Yangtze River in China, is facing a critical population decline due to habitat degradation, pollution, overfishing, and vessel traffic. With an estimated population of fewer than 1,000 individuals, urgent conservation efforts are needed to prevent its extinction within the next decade.

10. Tapanuli Orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis)
The Tapanuli orangutan, discovered in 2017 in Sumatra, Indonesia, is the rarest and most endangered great ape species. With a population of fewer than 800 individuals, the Tapanuli orangutan is threatened by habitat loss, deforestation, hunting, and infrastructure development.

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These 10 endangered species are just a few examples of the many animals on the brink of extinction due to human activities and environmental pressures. Without immediate and decisive action to protect their habitats, combat poaching, address climate change, and promote conservation efforts, these iconic species could disappear forever within the next 10 years.

It is imperative that governments, conservation organizations, communities, and individuals come together to safeguard these species and their habitats for future generations. By raising awareness, supporting conservation initiatives, advocating for stronger environmental protections, and making sustainable choices in our daily lives, we can all contribute to the preservation of these magnificent creatures and the biodiversity of our planet. The time to act is now to ensure a future where these endangered species thrive and continue to enrich our world with their presence.

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