Amur Leopards

Facts: An Amur leopard can live for 10-15 years in the wild and up to 20 years old in captivity. Leopards are carnivorous and their main prey is hoofed animals such as sika, roe and musk deer. They can swim and reach up to speeds of 59.6 km/h (37 mph) when running! The small population of Amur leopards can be found in a small portion of far-east Russia and a small area bordering China. Some sightings are also occasionally made in Korea.

Habitat: Grasslands, mountains and lowland forests.

Why they’re endangered: The only predator of leopards is humans who poach them for traditional medicines and their spotted coat. They are persecuted for eating livestock and are threatened by wildfires and loss of prey.

Grevy’s Zebras

Facts: Newborn foals are able to stand after just six minutes and can run after just 40 minutes! Grevy’s zebras don’t have herds. Instead, stallions establish territories and mares cross into them to breed and give birth. Once the foals are old enough to travel, they and their mothers move on.

Habitat: Due to rapid population declines zebras are now confined to the arid grasslands of Southern Ethiopia and Northern Kenya.

Why they’re endangered: Grevy’s zebras are endangered due to hunting and habitat loss.

Black Rhinos

Facts: Black rhinos are the smaller of the two African rhino species. They can grow up to 10ft long! The biggest difference between white and black rhinos are their hooked upper lip. This distinguishes them from the white rhino, which has a square lip.

Habitat: Semi-Desert Savannah, Woodlands, Forests, Wetlands in Namibia and Coastal East Africa

Why they’re endangered: Poachers go after these rhinos to they can sell their horns.

Bengal Tigers

Facts: The largest of all the Asian big cats, tigers rely primarily on sight and sound rather than smell for hunting. They typically hunt alone and stalk their prey. A tiger can consume up to 88 pounds of meat at one time! Tigers give birth to about two to four cubs every two years. About half of all cubs do not survive more than two years. Tigers have been known to reach up to 20 years of age in the wild. Males of the largest subspecies, the Siberian tiger, can weigh up to 660 pounds!

Habitat: Mangrove forests mostly in India with smaller populations Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Myanmar.

Why they’re endangered: Mostly poaching. Alos some people illegally capture tigers and keep them for pets.

Asian Elephants

Facts: Asian elephants weigh around 11,000 pounds and measure up to 21 feet long and 11 feet high! They are extremely sociable forming groups of six to seven related females that are led by the oldest female, the matriarch. Like African elephants, these groups occasionally join others to form herds. Elephants are always close to a source of fresh water because they need to drink at least once a day.

Habitat: Forest Habitats in Eastern Himalayas, Greater Mekong

Why they’re endangered: Habitat loss and illegal killing for their ivory and other products are threatening elephant populations.

Hippos

Facts: The hippopotamus known as “the river horse” can weigh up to 8,000 pounds! It is the second heaviest land animal after the elephant. The pygmy hippo is only half as tall as the hippopotamus and weighs less than 1/4 of a full-sized hippopotamus. Hippos keep cool by staying in the water and feed on fruit and grasses at night. Their main predator is the crocodile so they keep watch with eyes and ears on top of their head! Have you ever seen a hippo peeking out from beneath the water?

Habitat: Rivers, lakes and swamps in Sub Saharan Africa

Why they’re endangered: Habitat loss

Polar Bears

Facts: Fun fact: polar bears are marine mammals because they spend most of their lives on the ice!. They have a thick layer of body fat and a water-repellent coat that protect them from the cold. Considered talented swimmers, polar bears can move at a pace of six miles per hour. Polar bears can weigh between 800-1300 lbs and be 6-9 ft long. They spend over 50% of their time hunting for food. A polar bear might catch only one or two out of ten seals it hunts.

Habitat: Arctic sea ice

Why they’re endangered: The polar bear’s survival is directly linked to the existence of the Arctic sea ice, a habitat greatly affected by climate change from human behavior. The more we contribute to climate change means the ice melts and polar bears cannot survive.

Mountain Gorillas

Facts: As their name implies, mountain gorillas live in forests high in the mountains at elevations of 8,000 to 13,000 feet. They have thicker fur, and more of it, compared to other great apes. Their fur helps them to survive in a habitat where temperatures often drop below freezing. But as humans have moved more and more into the gorillas’ territory, they have been pushed farther up into the mountains for longer periods, forcing them to endure dangerous and sometimes deadly conditions.

Habitat: Forests in Africa

Why they’re endangered: Humans destroying their forest habitat

Red Pandas

Facts: Red pandas are very skillful and acrobatic animals that predominantly stay in trees. Almost 50% of the red panda’s habitat is in the Eastern Himalayas. They use their long, bushy tails for balance and to cover themselves in winter, presumably for warmth. Primarily a herbivore, the name panda is said to come from the Nepali word ‘ponya,’ which means bamboo or plant eating animal.

Habitat: Temperate forests in the Eastern Himalayas.

Why they’re endangered: Red Pandas mostly die from traps meant for other animals.

Sea Turtles

Facts: Sea turtles have been around since the time of the dinosaurs over 110 million years ago! There are seven different species of sea turtles that all live in the ocean. Only the flatback sea turtle lives in Australia. After years traveling the open ocean sea turtles return to their nesting grounds where they were born to lay their own eggs. In their voyage from nesting to feeding grounds some species will travel more than 1,000 miles! Unfortunately nearly all species of sea turtle are classified as endangered.

Habitat: Oceans around the world

Why they’re endangered: Accidental catch in fishing gear, entanglement in ocean debris, destruction of beach habitat, harvesting for their meat and eggs, and climate change.

Orangutans

Facts: Did you know the name orangutan means “man of the forest” in Malay language? Orangutans are known for their red fur and are the largest arboreal mammals (arboreal means living in trees). They make their nests in the treetops to sleep in at night and rest in during the day. Adult male orangutans can weigh up to 200 pounds! Orangutans share 96.4% of our genes and are highly intelligent.

Habitat: Forests in Borneo and Sumatra.

Why they’re endangered: The destruction and degradation of the tropical rain forest, particularly lowland forests.

Hawaiian Monk Seal

Facts: Hawaiian monk seals are Hawaiian natives and are only found in Hawaii. Monk seals can dive as deep as 1500 feet but generally average about 200 feet. Monk seals eat less fish over the course of their lifetime compared to other marine mammals and live between 25 and 30 years. Research suggests that these seals have been present on the Hawaiian Islands for several million years! A close cousin, the Caribbean monk seal, became extinct in 1952 and there are only 500 Mediterranean monk seals left in the wild.

Habitat: Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

Why they’re endangered: The biggest threats to Hawaiian monk seals are entanglement, food limitation, disease, shark bites, and climate change.

Lions

Facts: Lions are the second largest cat in the world, with only the tiger outsizing them! Lions are the most sociable of all the big cats. They live in groups called prides, which usually consist of related females and their cubs. Dominant males, with their flowing manes (a sign of strength and power), fight to maintain breeding rights. About 20,000 African lions remain in the wild today.

Habitat: Sub-Saharan Africa, Tanzania

Why they’re endangered: Loss of living space, illegal wildlife trade and conflict with people.