Our human population, pollution and deforestation rates continue to rise and unfortunately, it’s causing species to suffer at an alarming high rate. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUNC) analyzed the extinction risk of 63, 837 species in their 2012 Red List and they found that nearly 32 percent (19,817) are threatened with extinction. This number includes 41 percent of amphibians, 25 percent of mammals and 13 percent of birds. Though foundations like the IUCN and the World Wildlife Force have great concern for all endangered animals, there has been a select few that have raised the public’s interest (as well as pricked their hearts).
Listed below is a short list of endangered animals that have caused great concern in 2012 thus far.
Hula painted frogs
Only three of these amphibians were first discovered in the 1940’s on the shore of Lake Huleh, Israel. Unfortunately, in the 1950’s the lake was drained and they were thought to be extinct. Over 50 years later, in 2011, one Hula painted frog was rediscovered at the Hula Reserve. They’re now considered as critically endangered.
Caquetá titi monkeys
These adorable red monkeys were just recently identified as a new species by conservationists in 2010. These primates reside in the “Colombian section of the Amazon rain forest” and according to the IUCN their population has decreased 80 percent in just two decades due to the reduction of their habitat.
It’s said that this type of bird is among the world’s largest woodpeckers. In the 1800’s they were commonly found in states like Florida, North Carolina, Texas and Missouri. However, over the past two centuries hunting and logging have diminished the population. The IUCN estimated that there are fewer than 50 birds left.
Mekong giant catfishes
This type of fish is one of the largest in the world, weighing up to 650 pounds and growing up to 10 feet long. Unfortunately, this Cambodian, Thailand and Vietnam native may not be around for much longer. Due to overfishing and habitat loss it’s estimated by the IUCN that the population has decreased by 80 percent.