Where Did All the Animals Go?

Erin D., Staff Writer

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Extinction is a global crisis now and we need you to help us. Poachers can make lots of money by killing animals and selling things like a tigers fur for carpets and an elephant’s tusks for ivory. Lately we have been doing all we can by dying elephants tusks pink so poachers won’t kill them. After all, who wants pink ivory? That’s why the animals need your help. Let’s meet them!

1. South China Tiger

The South China tiger population was estimated to number 4,000 individuals in the early 1950s. In the next few decades thousands were killed as they were hunted as a pest. The Chinese government banned hunting in 1979. By 1996, the population was estimated to be 30-80 tigers. The South China Tiger was hunted for carpet hair and they’re losing a lot of land due to people tearing down trees and building structures. Today the South China tiger is considered by scientist to be “functionally extinct”, meaning that scientists haven’t seen this tiger for last 25 years and now it is thought to be extinct.

  1. Sumatran Elephant

In the past 25 years, the Sumatran Elephant has lost  70% of its habitat to deforestation for palm oil plantations farming and human homes. Less than 2,000 are estimated to exist and in 2011, the Sumatran Elephant was classified by the IUCN. The IUCN is the International Union for Conservation of Nature who help animals and their habitats. Some elephant are hunted for their horns but in this case the Sumatran Elephant is getting to be extinct by loss of land.

  1. Vaquita

The Vaquita is a species of porpoise that lives in the northern part of the Gulf of California. It is on the edge of extinction. The Vaquita is the rarest marine mammal in the world. As of March 2018, only about 12 individuals remain. This animal in particular was not hunted for, it accidentally got caught in illegal nets intended for capturing the totoaba, a large critically endangered fish. Time is running out for these elusive little sea porpoises, with extinction predicted soon.

  1. Hawksbill turtle

The hawksbill turtle lives throughout the tropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Ocean. It has lost 90% of its population, 80% of which has been lost in the last 10 years. Their narrow pointed beak is a specialized feeding tool, much like that of a bird of prey. It’s shape and lengths allows the turtle to reach into small cracks in the coral reef to get sponges and other invertebrate. Coral reef sponges are a hawksbill turtles primary source of food. Like many sea turtles, hawksbill are a critically endangered species due to mostly human impact. Hawksbill eggs are still eaten around the world despite the turtles international protected status, and they are often killed for their flesh and stunning shell.

5. Bornean Orangutan

Orangutans are the largest tree-living mammals in the world. The Bornean Orangutan is one of only two kinds of orangutan, which together are the only types of great apes to be found in Asia. Orangutan means “person of the forest” in the native language of Indonesia. Now, due to deforestation and poaching, Bornean Orangutans are only on the island of Broneo with their population reduced to 50,000-60,000. The Bornean Orangutan are also currently classified on the International Union for Conservation of Nature. (IUCN)

 

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