by Editor on November 24, 2013

Critically Endangered Species: The Western Lowland Gorilla. Photo:Jack Hynes

Critically Endangered Species: The Western Lowland Gorilla. Photo:Jack Hynes

Our Ten Most Endangered Animals For 2014

We’ve made just one change to All About Wildlife’s Top 10 List of Endangered Species for 2014. Our updated Ten Most Endangered Animals list is now available for your viewing.

As with any Top 10 list, in order to add something to it, something had to be taken away. In this case we have placed the lowland gorilla on our auxiliary list with its close cousin, the mountain gorilla—which the lowland gorilla itself replaced on our Top Ten list several years ago. Moving into the Number 6 position on our Top Ten Most Endangered Species List is the saola, a hoofed rainforest animal so seldom seen it’s been called the “Asian unicorn.”

Why did we make this change? Well, it’s not because lowland gorillas are any less endangered. In fact if anything, this huge primate species is in even more trouble than it was when we first added it to the list. But as we’ve often said in a number of different places on All About Wildlife, there are hundreds if not thousands of animal species that deserve a spot on our Ten Most Endangered Animals List. Endangered species lists exist to serve the purposes or highlight the interests of whomever makes up the list, and the animals on any particular list of endangered species are no more deserving of protection than a host of dwindling species who have not been named to the list.

For 2014, we wanted to give the (temporary) spotlight to the saola, because for us this secretive, antelope-like relative of the cow represents the deep distress of wildlife species throughout the forests of Southeast Asia. Not only is deforestation threatening almost all the animal species in this tropical area of the planet, but poaching—the illegal hunting and trapping of wildlife—is surging throughout Southeast Asian rain forests. This poaching is fueled by the burgeoning market for bushmeat as well as steeply rising demand for the body parts of numerous endangered animals, which are used as ingredients to make “magical” folk remedies in China, Vietnam and elsewhere. Biologists and game wardens report that it is now difficult to go almost anywhere in Southeast Asia’s rainforests without running across snares indiscriminately set for any wildlife, including endangered animals, unlucky enough to blunder into them.

In any case, right at the bottom of our Ten Most Endangered Species list, you will find links that will take you to pages where you can still read about the Western lowland gorilla, the greater bamboo lemur, the kakapo parrot, and several other critically endangered species that occupied spots on our Top 10 Most Endangered list in previous years. We’re not forgetting about any of these highly imperiled animals—and neither should anyone else.

We hope you both enjoy and learn from our 2014 list of the Top 10 Most Endangered Species.

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