We Left The Panda Off Our Ten Most Endangered Animals List. Nothing Personal. Photo:JCWF

We Left The Panda Off Our Ten Most Endangered Animals List. Nothing Personal. Photo:JCWF

We mentioned in another article that picking a Ten Most Endangered Animals list was a tough job. For every critically endangered creature you select, you must leave out hundreds of other animals that are in just as much jeopardy.

That’s why, despite the photo at the left, we chose not to include the giant panda on our roster of the world’s ten most endangered animals. The panda, as appealing and important as it is, has gotten plenty of attention from conservationists and the public alike. Time to make room for another critically endangered animal or two that hasn’t had as much time in the spotlight of looming extinction.

Our 10 Most Endangered Animals

Click links for more info and a short video on each species

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

Plus . . . Two Important Species From Out Previous List

Mountain Gorilla

Their habitat is shrinking, and fewer than 700 remain

Hawaiian Monk Seal

Scientists don’t know why this seal’s population keeps declining

So, how did we choose our ten most endangered animals list? First, we consulted the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Then, we reviewed the organization’s data on many of the most critically endangered animals around the world and made a preliminary list based on the size of each species’ population and the threats that it faces in the wild. Then, we divided that list into groups that included sea mammals, terrestrial mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians. We didn’t pick any insects even though plenty of them are endangered and we didn’t have a good reason not to. Then . . . well, we picked the 10 that most appealed to us and that seemed to be among the most in need of help.

If you wanted, you could visit the IUCN’s web site and make your own ten most endangered animals list. Unfortunately, there are thousands of creatures of all kinds that qualify.

Read More About The World’s Ten Most Endangered Species