As part of the human race, we all think about when the apocalypse will happen. While such musings are based on vague wonderings about the future of the earth, there are some things we are factually aware of; such as the numerous animal species that are soon to be extinct. Yes, there are a vast number of animals that are most likely to become extinct in the lifetime of the living generations! Now isn’t that truly alarming? And of course, human agency is undeniably involved in the arrival of such a state. So don’t be surprised if you are suddenly confronted with a world where the following animals are wiped out of existence.
Currently existent only in some areas of the Central and Western Atlantic, Hooded Seals were hunted for their leather and oil products before the 1940s. Ever since then, they are not hunted so purposefully – most killings occur due to subsistence hunting or as by-catch.
These marsupials called ‘tree kangaroos’ live on trees and are found mostly in island areas such as the tropical forests of New Guinea and some parts of Australia. Their natural habitat is being rapidly destroyed by timber production and logging, as well as hunting by native tribes.
Majestic birds with a very striking appearance, Bearded Vultures deemed to be in extreme danger according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – there are just 10,000 pairs remaining across the world. They have been hunted for irrational fear of them carrying off women and children in mountainous regions of Eurasia.
The Axolotl is a very exotic variety of amphibians that originate in numerous lakes in the Mexico region. Its dwindling number is associated with urbanization-related water pollution. As of 2013, no traces of wild Axolomeh (the plural or Axolotl) were found across all of Mexico.
Currently existent in only four areas of the world – one region in Russia and three in Kazakhstan, the Siaga Antelope has been heavily hunted in the modern era. This is because, not only do these creatures has a most unique appearance, their horns having medicinal properties as well.
An odd-looking amphibian of the salamander family, Olms are decreasing in number due to very specific nature of habitat they require. Entirely aquatic and averse to light, they are exclusively found in water caves of Central and Southeast Europe, which are now getting marred by pollution.
A tiny-sized monkey that is incredibly cute-looking, this species is found in a very small area of Central and Southwest China, in the temperate forests at the height of 1,500 to 3,400 meters. They are endangered due to their selective diet lichen which is now sparsely found due to deforestation.
The gharial is a type of crocodilian which is found primarily in the Indian subcontinent. Known to be amongst the largest variety of the species and thus particularly fascinating, the global population of gharials is a mere 235 individual creatures.
A part of the monkey family known for its bizarre features, the Proboscis Monkey is found exclusively on the Malay island of Borneo. The population of this already rare animal has reduced by a whopping 50% in the past 40 years, primarily due to hunting practices and loss of habitat.
The Irrawady Dolphin is likened to beluga whales in terms of appearance, though its population is far lesser than the latter. There are about 7000 such dolphins in existence today, with 90% of these occurring in Bangladesh. Overfishing and incidence of bycatching are the greatest threat to them.
The largest known land-arthropod on Earth, the Coconut Crab can measure as much as a small baby in size. It is found in the island regions of the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean, where they are considered a delicacy and aphrodisiac by locals; this is the main threat to their survival.
Kakapos are a type of flightless parrots that are unique to New Zealand alone. They were widely hunted for their meat and feathers by locals in the past which reduced their numbers over time. Also, with colonization of the lands, new predator species arrived, further endangering Kakapos.
The Dugong is a sea creature, most closely similar to Steller’s Sea Cow in appearance. Historically, Dugongs have been widely hunted for not just their meat and oil, but also since their hunting had much cultural significance in the Indo-West Pacific, where they are primarily found.
The Horton Plains Slender Loris is an extremely rare animal which features on the list of top five most-threatened primates in the world. First discovered in 1937, it was considered to be extinct by 2002, till it was discovered once again in 2009, with just about 100 being in existence today.
Known for its unique colour and appearance, the Gooty spider has been sighted in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, in its natural habitat of deciduous forests. Logging, firewood harvesting and specimen collection for pet trade has led to a significant decrease in the Gooty spider population.
Markhors are large wild goats which are almost mythical in their unique appearance. They are found in the mountainous regions of Southeast Asia with the estimate of total population falling below 2,500 mature creatures.
The Quokka constitutes a very fascinating species of marsupials that is small in size and vulnerable to hunting by dogs, cats, foxes, etc. Found exclusively in the island areas of Western Australia, their numbers are fast declining due to the action of predators and loss of habitat as well.
Okapis are unusual animals with zebra-like markings and a structural similarity to giraffes. They inhabit specific forested areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and are in much danger due to logging, hunting for its skin and meat and human settlement in their natural habitat.