We all think about when the apocalypse will happen. While it may feel fatalistic, some things we are factually aware of — such as the numerous animal species that are soon to be extinct, perhaps even in our lifetime! Isn’t that truly alarming?
Of course, human agency is undeniably involved in this situation. Don’t be surprised if you are suddenly confronted with a world where the following animals are wiped out of existence.
Currently existing only in some areas of the Central and Western Atlantic, hooded seals were hunted for their leather and oil products before the 1940s. Since then, they are not hunted so purposefully; most killings occur due to subsistence hunting or as by-catch.
Tree kangaroos live in trees and are found mostly in island areas such as the tropical forests of New Guinea and some parts of Australia. Their natural habitat is being rapidly destroyed by timber production and logging, as well as hunting.
Majestic birds with a very striking appearance, bearded vultures are in extreme danger according to the World Wildlife Fund – there are just 10,000 pairs remaining across the world. They have been hunted for the irrational fear of them carrying off women and children in mountainous regions of Eurasia.
The axolotl is an exotic variety of amphibians that live in numerous lakes in the Mexico region. Its dwindling number is associated with urbanization-related water pollution. As of 2013, no traces of wild axolomeh (the plural or axolotl) were found in Mexico.
Currently living in only four areas of the world – one region in Russia and three in Kazakhstan — the Siaga antelope has been heavily hunted in the modern era. This is because of their unique appearance and the medicinal properties of their horns.
An odd-looking amphibian of the salamander family, olms are decreasing in number due to the specific habitat they require. Entirely aquatic and averse to light, they are exclusively found in water caves of Central and Southeast Europe, which are now being marred by pollution.
A tiny monkey that is incredibly cute, this species is found only in a small area of Central and Southwest China, in the temperate forests at the height of 1,500 to 3,400 meters. They are endangered due to their selective diet of lichen, which is growing sparser because of deforestation.
The gharial is a type of crocodile found primarily in the Indian subcontinent. Known to be amongst the largest variety of the species and thus particularly fascinating, the global population of gharials is a mere 235.
A member of the monkey family known for its bizarre features, the proboscis monkey is found exclusively on the Malay island of Borneo. The population of this already rare animal has reduced by a whopping 50% in the past 40 years, primarily due to hunting practices and loss of habitat.
The Irrawady Dolphin is likened to beluga whales in terms of appearance, though its population is far smaller. There are about 7000 such dolphins in existence today, with 90% living in Bangladesh. Overfishing and bycatching are the greatest threat to them.
The largest known land-arthropod on Earth, the coconut crab can measure as much as a small baby in size. They live in the island regions of the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean, where they are considered a delicacy and aphrodisiac by locals; this is the main threat to their survival.
Kakapos are a type of flightless parrots that are unique to New Zealand. They were widely hunted for their meat and feathers by locals in the past, which reduced their numbers over time. Also, with the colonization of the lands, new predator species arrived, further endangering kakapos.
The dugong is a sea creature similar to Steller’s sea cow in appearance. Historically, dugongs have been widely hunted for not just their meat and oil, but also since their hunting had much cultural significance in the Indo-West Pacific, where they are primarily found.
The Horton Plains slender loris is an extremely rare animal that features on the list of top five most threatened primates in the world. First discovered in 1937, it was considered to be extinct by 2002, till it was discovered once again in 2009, with just about 100 being in existence today.
Known for its unique colour and appearance, the Gooty spider has been sighted in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, in its natural habitat of deciduous forests. Logging, firewood harvesting, and specimen collection for the pet trade has led to a significant decrease in the gooty spider population.
Markhors are large wild goats that are almost mythical in their unique appearance. They are found in the mountainous regions of Southeast Asia with the estimate of the total population falling below 2,500 mature creatures.
The quokka is a very fascinating species of marsupials that are small in size and vulnerable to hunting by dogs, cats, and foxes Found exclusively in the island areas of Western Australia, their numbers are quickly declining due to predators and loss of habitat .
Okapis are unusual animals with zebra-like markings and structural similarity to giraffes. They inhabit specific forested areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo and are in much danger due to logging, hunting for their skin and meat, and human settlement in their natural habitat.