Friday, May 25, 2012


The most critically endangered species on our list of the ten most critically endangered animals is the ivory-billed woodpecker, which lives—or lived—in the Southeastern part of the US as well as Cuba. This huge woodpecker was considered extinct until 2004, when a handful of tantalizing reports of sightings in Arkansas and Florida began to trickle in. However, definitive proof for the ivory-bill’s continued existence has remained elusive, and if a population does exist, it is likely to be tiny and extremely vulnerable. The ivory-billed woodpecker owes its near- or complete extinction to habitat loss (logging) as well as over-exploitation by humans, who hunted it for its feathers.

1 Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

A North American bird so endangered it may actually be extinct

2 Amur Leopard

The world’s rarest cat: Only 40 left in Russia’s Far East

3 Javan Rhinoceros

No more than 60 of these swamp-dwelling Asian rhinos exist

4 Greater Bamboo Lemur

Here’s the scarcest of Madagascar’s fast-dwindling lemur species

5 Northern Right Whale

Hunted to near extinction, 350 right whales still swim the Atlantic

6 Western Lowland Gorilla

Disease and illegal hunting are taking an alarming toll on this gentle giant of a primate

7 Leatherback Sea Turtle

The population of the world’s largest turtle is dropping at an alarming rate

8 Siberian (or Amur) Tiger

The world’s biggest cat weighs as much as 300 kilos (660 pounds)

9 Chinese Giant Salamander

Humans are eating the world’s largest amphibian into extinction

10 Kakapo Parrot

So few of these flightless parrots remain that the survivors all have names