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9 Species On The Brink Of Extinction

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The Aughts decade has come and gone, and as we are on the brink of a new decade, the World Wildlife Federation and Eco Wordly have highlighted nine species that can become extinct in this new decade.  Both organizations site environmental changes and poaching as the primary reasons.

Leatherback Turtle
Leatherback Turtle

Environmental lends itself to deforestation, rising global temperatures, and lost of habitats.  The nine at risk are the Amur Leopard, Saiga Antelope, Gorillas, Leatherback Turtle, Pere David Deer, Tigers, Golden Toad, Rhinos, and the Baiji Dolphin – which is already thought to be extinct since its last sighting in the wild was in 2002.  The Baiji Dolphin’s former habitat was the Yangtze River in China.  China has dammed the river, and coupled with higher levels of pollutants in the river, have most likely caused this species extinction.  The Amur Leopard and Saiga Antelope are found in Russia.  Due to deforestation and poaching, both species are on the brink of extinction.  There are only 135 Amur Leopards left, and the Saiga Antelope population has been reduced by 95% since 1997.  Gorillas in Africa are on the brink.  There are only 250 Cross River Gorillas left, and 750 Mountain Gorillas left in the wild.  The Leatherback Turtle is over 00 million years old in existence, but due to global warming, the beaches that the turtles have laid there eggs on have become warmer, thus affecting the egg laying abilities of this turtle.  Their numbers have been in steep decline since the 90’s.

Baiji Dolphin last seen in 2002
Baiji Dolphin last seen in 2002

Tigers are down to 3200 in the wild, and have become totally extinct in Southern China.  The Golden Toad of Costa Rica is now thought to be extinct, since none have been sighted in the wild, WWF estimates that half the reptilian species around the world are at risk due to global warming and lost of habitats.  The Pere David Deer is considered to be extinct in the wild, with only three small herds to be found on nature preserves.  The Deer is originally from China.  Rhinos in Africa are at risk, but their cousins the Javan Rhino and Western Black Rhino are down to 60 animals left in each group.  Global warming, deforestation, lost of animal habitat to human development, and poaching have played havoc with these species.  These species are the ones with the highest chance of being lost forever during this next decade.  It would be a crime against the planet if we are to see these species become this generations Dodo bird.

John Vlahakis

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