Critically Endangered animals are the species that may no longer exist in this world soon because of natural reasons as well as human-caused reasons. A growing population of humans is the main reason for the rapid decrease of some species. With the growing need for shelter and food, people destroy the habitats of animals. Not only that some species are decreasing as people hunt down them for meat and ivory.
And also some species are endangered due to natural reasons like climate changes and lowing the number of adult animals. However various researches and studies assume that these endangered species will no longer exist in the world within three generations or within 10 years. In this article, I bring you some valuable information you should know about several kinds of these critically endangered species.
# Amur Leopard
Amur leopard is a subspecies of leopards spread around the border of China and Russia. A survey team found 30 of them around a small area on the border in 2000 and it makes them the rarest big can in the world. But thanks to the conservation projects now there are more than 100 Amur Leopards in the wild and more than 300 of them in some zoos around the world. Its appearance is almost the same as other leopard species but they have a unique adaptation. In the winter season, its coat grows significantly and becomes pale colored to protect them in the lowest temperatures.
Usually male Amur leopard weights from 32 to 48 kg and female weights from 25 to 43 kg. So Amur leopards are usually smaller than African leopards. They are more active in the daylight comparing to other leopard subspecies. As Amur leopards are top predators they have not many threats besides Siberian tigers and humans who hunt them for their coat.
# Black Rhinoceros
Black Rhinoceros is a native animal to Africa usually weighs from 800 to 1400 kg. There are several subspecies such as eastern black rhino, south-central black rhino, southwestern black rhino, and western black rhino. Western Black Rhinoceros which was a subspecies of Black Rhino was declared extinct in 2011. In addition to Sumatran rhinos and white rhinos, only black rhinos have two horns. Some studies have identified that these black rhinos can run faster than 64 km/ph.
One of their unique characteristics is their upper lip. It is triangular and that shape helps them to eat bushes and shrubs easily. These have relatively poor eyesight. These black rhinos have spread in eastern and central Africa including countries such as Zimbabwe, South Africa, Tanzania, and Kenya. And for the repopulation in 2017 black rhinos were reintroduced to Rwanda which didn’t have an existence of black rhino. According to researches, there are only about 5,500 black rhinos by 2018.
Because of their large size usually, black rhino’s don’t have many predators. Their main predators are large wild cats such as lions. Another main threat is humans as they hunt down black rhinos to get their horns.
# Cross River Gorilla
Cross River Gorilla is a subspecies of Western Gorilla and there are about 200 to 300 gorillas left in the world by today. This makes them the most critically endangered ape in Africa. These gorillas have usually black or brownish-grey fur but they don’t have fur on feet and hands. Their heads have red crests and their heads are cone-shaped. They live in groups of 2 to 20. In such a group there is one leading male, 5-7 females, and their children. These leading gorillas usually have a silver patch on their backs. So they are called silverbacks.
These cross river gorillas are well known for their efficiency in baby care. They become sexually mature usually at the age of 10 and have babies every four years. They take care of their babies until they are four years old. Until then they do not produce any babies and give their full attention to newly born ones.
Their habitats are spread around the Mountain borders in Cameroon and Nigeria and you can found them in rain forests and bamboo forests. They mostly depend on nuts, leaves, berries, and branches. Their main predators are large jungle cats and crocodiles. Besides them, humans are another threat as their activities like deforestation cause to endangering of these gorillas.
There are more than 50 subspecies in this adorable hornbill such as rhinoceros hornbills, African hornbills, great hornbills, and Indian gray hornbills. Hornbills usually build their nests in cavities in trees except for southern ground hornbill and Abyssinian ground hornbill. These birds have a unique structure in their kidneys. As they obtain all of the water from fruit-based diets, this structure helps them to process water inefficiently way. They usually consume fruits and meat equal to 20-33% of their body weight every day.
These hornbill birds have very unusual appearances. Their head and wings are very large compared to their body size. As well as they have long tails and usually their sizes range between 19-63 inches. As hornbills are tropical birds, their habitats are spread over India, sub-Saharan Africa, Solomon Islands, and the Philippines. According to Red List, the Rufous-headed hornbill is a critically endangered species that lefts less than 2500 birds. There are around 13000 to 27000 individuals left in great hornbills around the world. Their main predators are owls and eagles. Other than that humans are also a threat as they poach hornbills for meat.
# Borneo Elephants
Borneo elephants are also called pygmy elephants. It belongs to the family of Asian elephants which consist of subspecies as Sri Lanka elephant, Indian elephant, Sumatra elephant, and Borneo elephant. Among them, the Borneo elephant is the smallest one which is usually 30% smaller than other ones. Most of their features are the same as other Asian elephants. But there are also few differences. Borneo elephants have long tails and straight tusks which other Asian elephants don’t have.
As mentioned in the name, they are endemic to Borneo Island. According to the researches, there are only about 1500 individuals remain in wild. Actually, they have no threat thanks to their body size except for humans.