Smalltooth Sawfish (Pristis pectinata) was uplisted to Critically Endangered in 2006. It is a widely distributed sawfish which has been wholly or nearly extirpated from large areas of its former range in the North Atlantic (Mediterranean, US Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico) and the Southwest Atlantic coast by fishing and habitat modification. Remaining populations are now small and fragmented distribution. It is apparently extinct in the Mediterranean and likely also the Northeast Atlantic. Reports of this species outside the Atlantic are now considered to have been misidentifications of other Pristis species. The individual shown here resides at Atlantis, Paradise Island in The Bahamas, site of the world's largest artificial marine habitat. Photo © Sun International Resorts, Inc.
Forest Owlet (Heteroglaux blewitti) is a Critically Endangered species endemic to central India. It was known from four widely separated localities during the 19th Century, but was then thought to be extinct for more than 100 years. In 1997 the owlet was rediscovered and in 2000, a survey located only 25 birds. More recent survey efforts have located another five sites. Although there is some confusion over its former abundance, evidence strongly suggests it has always been rare. Loss of its deciduous forest habitat threaten the population. Photo © Farah Ishtiaq.
Verreaux’s Sifaka Lemur (Propithecus verreauxi) is endemic to Madagascar and is assessed as Vulnerable. This lemur’s deciduous forest habitat is being cleared for timber, firewood and charcoal production, resulting in a fragmented habitat that is also at risk from fires. The species is also hunted in some areas of the island. Photo © Troy Inman.
Golden Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia) is endemic to Brazil. The species moved from Critically Endangered down to Endangered after nearly 30 years of conservation efforts resulted in a population increase. There are now estimated to be more than 1,000 individuals. There is little room for further expansion of the wild population, however, considering the extreme fragmentation and reduced forest cover within its range. Current and future conservation efforts are tackling this problem with reforestation and the establishment of habitat corridors. Photo © Juan Pratginestós/WWF-Brasil.
Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus). The Northwest Pacific (Asia) gray whale stock is assessed as Critically Endangered on the basis that it is geographically distinct, and is thought to have less than 50 reproductive individuals. This subpopulation was hunted to near extinction and remains severely depleted. The potential impacts of industrial activity throughout the subpopulation’s known range are poorly understood. Globally, the species is still Lower Risk/conservation dependent. Photo © David W. Weller.
Dlinza Forest Pinwheel (Trachycystis clifdeni) is a Critically Endangered snail known only from Dlinza forest, South Africa. The forest is protected under KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife, however, it is a very small area (only 250 hectares) within an urban location and there is concern that the species may be negatively impacted by extreme stochastic weather conditions and climate change. Photo © Dai G. Herbert.
Red-shanked Douc Langur (Pygathrix nemaeus) handsome, yet Enda is angered Asian colobine monkey found in south central Viet Nam and parts of neighbouring Laos. It is threatened throughout its limited range by habitat destruction and hunting, the latter both for food and for body parts, which are used to prepare traditional medicines. While a number of Douc Langur populations can still be found in parks and nature reserves, wildlife laws established to protect this and other threatened species are too often poorly enforced in the face of lucrative and illegal wildlife trade. Photo © Bill Konstant.
The Common Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) was uplisted from Least Concern to Vulnerable for the 2006 Red List. The most recent population estimates suggest that there has been 7 to 20% decline in common hippo populations since 1994. The primary threats to the species are hunting for meat and ivory (found in the canine teeth) and habitat loss. Illegal or unregulated hunting of common hippos is particularly high in areas of civil unrest. A recent field survey found that populations in DRC have declined more than 95% as a result of intense hunting pressure, during more than eight years of civil unrest and fighting. Estimates of the amount of hippo ivory illegally exported have also increased, and its reliance on fresh water habitats, which are themselves threatened from water diversion and development, put the species in direct conflict with human populations. Photo © Jean-Christophe Vié.
The Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) moved into the threatened categories after being reassessed as Vulnerable for the 2006 Red List. Recent modelling of the trends for sea ice extent, thickness and timing of coverage predicts dramatic reductions in sea ice coverage over the next 50 to 100 years due to global climate change. It is suspected that there will be a population reduction of at least 30% over the next 45 years as a result of this habitat loss and declining habitat quality. Other threats to the population include pollution, and disturbance from shipping, recreational viewing, oil and gas exploration and development, and potential risk of over-harvesting (as a result of both legal and illegal hunting) in future. Photo © Robert & Carolyn Buchanan.
The Blue Poison Frog (Dendrobates azureus) is listed as Vulnerable because of its highly restricted range. This frog is known only from the type locality on Vier Gebroeders Mountain, Suriname. It is not significantly threatened in its tiny range, but fire probably has an impact on its forest habitat. Illegal collection of the species for the international pet trade probably no longer has a significant impact, since the species is extensively bred in captivity. Photo © Russ Mittermeier.
Floreana Coral (Tubastraea floreana) is a rare endemic coral to the Galápagos Archipelago. Before 1983, the species was known from only six sites. However, after the 1982-1983 El Niño event, it was not reported from any site until the early 1990s when three colonies were observed and photographed at Cousins, near Santiago. These colonies were observed each year until 2001 when they disappeared. Despite targeted searches throughout the Archipelago, the only colonies found recently were located at Gardner Islet, near Floreana in 2004. The dramatic reduction in this coral's distribution immediately after the 1982-83 El Niño event suggests that this mortality resulted from the event. Presumably climate change is an additional threat. It is listed on the 2007 Red List as Critically Endangered. Photo © P. Humann / http://www.fishid.com/. Photo provided by ARKive.
The Humphead Parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) is listed on the 2007 Red List as Vulnerable. This Indo-Pacific marine fish is now considered globally rare, with local densities negatively correlated with fishing pressure and with suspected local extinctions at some localities. Underwater surveys across its range have either failed to detect this species or have detected only rare individuals. It is considered abundant only on the Great Barrier Reef and at Rowley Shoals (Australia). This is a large-sized, long-lived species with low replacement rates and high vulnerability to fishing pressure. It is an important coral reef species, maintaining ecosystem resilience; the species consumes reef carbonate; its absence highlights the potential for marked changes in ecosystem function. The main threat to the Humphead Parrotfish is fishing, particularly spearfishing. Photo © Georgette Douwma / naturepl.com. Photo provided by ARKive.
The Coachella Valley Fringe-toed Lizard (Uma inornata) is endemic to southern California in the United States, and is restricted to the Coachella Valley in Riverside County. Its small historical range (around 839 km2) is now much reduced due to agricultural and urban development; its habitat has been degraded by stabilization of dunes by planted windbreaks. At least 80-90% of this lizard's habitat has been lost. Roads and railroad cuttings fragment the remaining habitat. Sand migration due to winds may affect the long-term survival of this species at two of the sections of the Coachella Valley Preserve, as the dunes may be moving out of the conservation areas. The species is listed as Endangered. Photo © William Flaxington.
The Blunt-nosed Leopard Lizard (Gambelia sila) is endemic to California in the United States and is listed as Endangered. Its distribution and abundance have both been greatly reduced due to habitat loss to urbanization, water development projects, and agricultural development; intensive mineral development, off-road vehicle activity, pesticides, overgrazing, and flooding. The species has been eliminated from 94% of its original range since the mid-1800s and its currently known occupied range includes scattered parcels of undeveloped land on the floor of the San Joaquin Valley and in the foothills of the Coast Range. There are not many more than a few dozen distinct subpopulations. Photo © Patrick Briggs.
White-headed Vulture (Trigonoceps occipitalis) was uplisted from Least Concern to Vulnerable in 2007. This vulture has an extremely large range in sub-Saharan Africa. It has declined rapidly in parts of West Africa since the early 1940s and in southern Africa is now largely confined to protected areas. It is estimated that the global population is around 2,600-4,700 pairs (7,000-12,500 mature individuals). Reductions in populations of medium-sized mammals and wild ungulates, as well as habitat conversion throughout its range best explain current decline. Additional threats are indirect poisoning by baits set to kill jackals in small-stock farming areas, although this species is less susceptible than other vultures owing to its broad diet. Exploitation for the international trade in raptors also poses a threat. Photo © Nigel J. Dennis / NHPA / Photoshot. Photo provided by ARKive.
The Baiji (Lipotes vexillifer) is probably the most threatened cetacean species in the world. The last documented sighting of the species was in 2002 and in November/December 2006 surveys faile d to find any individuals of the species in its native Yangtze River in China. The species has been listed as Critically Endangered since 1996, but in 2007 it was reassessed as Critically Endangered and flagged as Possibly Extinct. Entanglement in fishing gear, electric fishing practices, boat propeller strikes, dam construction, river siltation (from deforestation and agricultural expansion), and pollution have all contributed to the dramatic declines of this species. Further survey work is essential to confirm whether this species still exists or if it is indeed now extinct; for example, a reported sighting of the species in August 2007 requires confirmation. Photo © Mark Carwardine / NHPA / Photoshot. Photo provided by ARKive.
Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii) is listed as Critically Endangered. Endemic to the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, this ape has suffered a population decline of more than 80% over the last 75 years. The species is seriously threatened by logging (both legal and illegal), wholesale conversion of forest to agricultural land, and oil palm plantations, and fragmentation by roads. Animals are also illegally hunted and captured for the international pet trade but this appears to be more a symptom of habitat conversion, as orangutans are killed as pests when they raid fruit crops at the forest edge. Most orang-utans occur outside of protected areas. After a period of relative stability, pressure on these forests is increasing once again as a result of the recent peace accord, and a dramatic increase in demand for timber and other natural resources after the December 2004 tsunami. Photo © Anup Shah / naturepl.com. Photo provided by ARKive.
The Western Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) was uplisted from Endangered to Critically Endangered in 2007 after the Western Lowland Gorilla (G. g. gorilla) subspecies, suffered a population decline of more than 60% since the early 1980s. Hunting and deaths caused by Ebola were the main causes of this decline and both these threats continue to affect the Western Lowland Gorilla population. An investigation of Ebola outbreaks has revealed that if this disease continues at its current rate and trajectory, then the Western Lowland Gorilla abundance in all current protected areas could decline by 45% between 1992 and 2011. The Western Lowland Gorilla makes up most of the current Western Gorilla population. The other subspecies, Cross River Gorilla (G. g. diehli), was first listed as Critically Endangered in 1996. With fewer than 200 mature adults remaining in this population and ongoing habitat loss, it is still a highly threatened subspecies and remains in the Critically Endangered category. Photo © M. Watson / www.ardea.com. Photo pji (Lipotes vexillifer) is probably the most threatenedrovided by ARKive.
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