Endangered Species That Might Be Extinct Soon


There are many animals that are at a serious risk of extinction. The most threat they face is due to loss of habitat and loss of genetic variations. Below are some of the species that our next generation might only learn about from history books.


The addax (white antelope/ screwhorn antelope) is a critically endangered species of antelope. Due to unregulated hunting, it is extremely rare in its native habitat but is quite common in captivity.

23African wild ass

The African wild ass (African wild donkey) believed to be the ancestor of the domestic donkey is a critically endangered species with only 570 individuals existing in the wild.

22Amur leopard

The Amur leopard is a subspecies listed as Critically Endangered. In 2015, less than 60 individuals are estimated to survive in Russia and China.

21Arabian leopard

The Arabian leopard is a subspecies listed as Critically Endangered since 1996. Less than 200 wild individuals were estimated to be alive in 2006.

20Asiatic cheetah

The Asiatic cheetah (Iranian cheetah) is a Critically Endangered subspecies only found in Iran.

19Blue-throated macaw

The blue-throated macaw, endemic to a small area of north-central Bolivia, is considered critically endangered and the parrot is protected by trading prohibitions. Recent estimates suggest about 350–400 individuals remain in the wild.

18Brazilian merganser

The Brazilian merganser is one of the six most threatened waterfowl in the world with possibly fewer than 250 birds in the wild and currently 4 in captivity.

17Chinese alligator

The Chinese alligator (Yangtze alligator) is one of two known living species of Alligator, and is a critically endangered species is endemic to eastern China.

16Chinese giant salamander

The Chinese giant salamander, the largest salamander and largest amphibian in the world, is considered critically endangered. Major threats are habitat loss, pollution, and over collection for use in traditional Chinese medicine.


The gharial (gavial/ fish-eating crocodile), native to the northern part of India, is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. At fewer than 235 individuals they are threatened by the loss of riverside habitat, depletion of fish resources, and entanglement in fishing nets.

14Hawaiian monk seal

The Hawaiian monk seal is an endangered species of the earless seal family. Human encroachment, very low levels of genetic variation, entanglement in fishing nets, marine debris, diseases and past commercial hunting for skins are the major contributors to its fast depletion.

13Javan rhino

The Javan rhinoceros (Sunda rhinoceros/ lesser one-horned rhinoceros), one of five extant rhinoceroses, is critically endangered with only one known population in the wild. It is believed to be the rarest large mammal on Earth, with a population of as few as 58 to 61.


The kakapo (night parrot/ owl parrot), a species of large, flightless, nocturnal parrot, is critically endangered with a total known adult population of 154 as reported in June 2016. They face extinction because of Polynesian and European colonization and the introduction of predators such as cats, rats, ferrets and stoats.

11Lead-beater’s possum

The Lead beater’s possum, mainly restricted to alpine ash, mountain ash, and snow gum forests in the Central Highlands of Victoria, Australia, is a critically endangered possum.

10Mediterranean monk seal

The Mediterranean monk seal is the world’s rarest pinniped species. It is
listed as critically endangered after an estimate of less than 700 individuals was made in 2016.

9Mountain gorilla

The mountain gorilla, one of the two subspecies of the eastern gorilla, is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN. The estimated number of mountain gorillas is about 880 as counted in September 2016.

8Northwest African cheetah

The Northwest African cheetah (Senegal cheetah/ Saharan cheetah) is a subspecies of cheetah classified as critically endangered by the IUCN, with a total world population at about 250 mature individuals.

7Philippine eagle

The Philippine eagle (monkey-eating eagle, great Philippine eagle) is an eagle endemic to forests in the Philippines. Considered the rarest and most powerful birds in the world, it is critically endangered mainly due to massive loss of habitat resulting from deforestation.

6Red wolf

The Red wolf (Florida wolf/ Mississippi Valley wolf) is considered an intermediate between the coyote and gray wolf. It has been listed as a critically endangered species since 1996 and is a federally listed endangered species of the United States.


The Saiga is an antelope originally inhabiting vast areas of the Eurasian steppe zone. Demand for the horns in traditional Chinese medicine has wiped it out of China and put it on the critically endangered list.

4Spix’s macaw

Spix’s macaw, commonly known as the little blue macaw and native to Brazil, is critically endangered and possibly extinct in the wild. The only sighting after a 2000 sighting of a male bird was in 2016.

3Southern blue-fin tuna

The southern blue fin tuna, a tuna among the larger bony fishes, is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened species.

2Sumatran elephant

The Sumatran elephant, one of three recognized subspecies of the Asian elephant, has been classified as critically endangered by IUCN in 2011. Its population has declined by at least 80% over the last three generations and is pre-eminently threatened by habitat loss, degradation, fragmentation, and poaching.

1Sumatran orangutan

The Sumatran orangutan is considered one of “The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates”. Only found in the island of Sumatra, Indonesia it is rarer than the Bornean orangutan and has been declared as critically endangered since 2000.

Sumatran tiger

The Sumatran tiger is a rare tiger subspecies found in the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It has been listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List in 2008 at a population of 441 to 679 individuals, with no sub-population larger than 50 individuals.


The vaquita, a rare species of porpoise endemic to the northern part of the Gulf of California, is the most endangered cetacean in the world and has been listed as critically endangered since 1996. The population was around 30 in November 2016, a straight heads-up that the species will soon be extinct.

Northern white rhinoceros

The northern white rhinoceros, formerly found in several countries in East and Central Africa south of the Sahara, is one of the two subspecies of the white rhinoceros. It is listed as “Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct in the Wild).

West African lion

The West African lion, also called Senegal lion, was believed to be a lion subspecies native to Central and Western Africa. The regions were estimated to have comprised at most 1,800 individuals. The Senegal lion was therefore considered regionally endangered.

Kemp’s ridley sea turtle

Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, or the Atlantic ridley sea turtle, is the rarest species of sea turtle and is critically endangered. Major threats include habitat loss, pollution, and entanglement in shrimping nets.