Throughout history, many species of animals have gradually disappeared from the Earth. Unfortunately, this process of extinction seems to be accelerating, as there are more endangered species today than ever before and experts give warning that their number is on the rise. Several man made factors are pushing animals towards extinction; climate change, hunting and poaching, loss of habitat, pollution and a changing environment are among the most common.
Here are some of the species closest to extinction, according to the list made public by the World Wide Fund for Nature.
Believe it or not, this fearsome predator, revered by man for its power and beauty, is threatened with extinction. Apparently there are only about 3,200 tigers left in the entire world. Three subspecies are already extinct and the other six are all facing the same danger. Why? Poaching is one major factor and destruction of their habitat by deforestation is the other.
4. Polar Bears
If the climate continues to warm at the current rate, the polar bear, one of the most beloved species in the world, will soon face extinction. Although at present the population of polar bears is relatively stable, it will soon start decreasing if the trend of global warming is not reversed.
3. The Pacific Walrus
In the same boat (if only they had boats) as the Polar Bear, the melting of ice in the Arctic poses a threat to the habitat of this species and places it in danger of extinction.
2. Magellanic Penguin
Climate change is again the reason why this species is threatened to disappear. The migration of fish caused by warming currents makes it harder for them to find food and could result in the extinction of the Magellanic penguin.
1. Leatherback Turtle
Although the species has survived for over 100 million years, these marine turtles, which have a wide distribution, are now on the brink of extinction. This is because many of their offspring won't be able to reach maturity, due to numerous threats including fishing practices and pollution.