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16 Most Endangered Species in the World on the Brink of Extinction

Would you like to know which are the most endangered species in the world? This is certainly not a cheerful list, but one of a dignified tone, intended to raise awareness on a very serious issue: animal extinction. According to the latest issue of the Red List of Threatened Species, which is published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), there are 2599 critically endangered animal species, subspecies, stocks and subpopulations around the world. Naturally, other natural kingdoms are endangered too, including plants and fungi. However, in this list we will only concentrate on the animal kingdom.

Most Endangered Species in the World

We should firstly illustrate how it is that the IUCN categorizes threatened species. The category we chose for this list is ‘critically endangered’, a lower level than that of ‘extinct in the wild’ and higher than ‘endangered’, ‘vulnerable’ or ‘nearly threatened’. With these labels, the IUCN is able to rank species according to their likelihood of extinction. Furthermore, we ranked the critically endangered animal species compiled by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) according to their living population in the wild.

Here’s the countdown for the most endangered species in the world. If you are further interested in animals, you should not miss our list of The 9 Most Expensive Cat Breeds.


16. Western Lowland Gorilla

Scientific Name: Gorilla gorilla gorilla

Habitat: Forests

Native Countries: Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

Threats: Poaching, disease, hunting and logging.

Population: Unknown; they inhabit remote and dense rainforests in Africa.


15. Leatherback Turtle

Scientific Name: Dermochelys coriacea

Habitat: Oceans

Native Regions: Mesoamerican Reef, Coastal East Africa, Gulf of California, The Galápagos, Coral Triangle

Regionally Extinct in: Israel

Threats: Intense egg collection, fisheries bycatch, pollution and pathogens, climate change and coastal development affecting their habitat.

Population: Depending on the subpopulation


14. Hawksbill Turtle

Scientific Name: Eretmochelys imbricata

Habitat: Oceans

Native: Mesoamerican Reef, Coastal East Africa, Coral Triangle

Threats: Tortoiseshell trade, egg collection, slaughter for meat, destruction of nesting habitat, hybridization with other species, entanglement and ingestion of marine debris and oil pollution.

Population: Depending on the subpopulation

The list of the most endangered species in the world continues on the next page with another member of the ape family.