Critically Endangered Animals

African Forest Elephant

African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis). Odzala-Kokoua National Park, Republic of the Congo. (Photo by: Nicolas Deloche/Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The elusive cousin of the African Savannah Elephant the African Forest Elephant inhabits the dense rainforests of west and Central Africa. The smallest of the current living elephants species the African Forest Elephant is only around 415,000 strong and poaching has steered the species dangerously close to extinction.

Sumatran Elephant

WAY KAMBAS, LAMPUNG, INDONESIA - JUNE 13:  Sumatran elephants out to find food in between patrolling the conservation looking for illegal loggers who are destroying the habitat of Sumatran elephants on June 13, 2010 in Way Kambas, Lampung, Indonesia. Sumatran elephants are becoming increasingly endangered due to the destruction of their habitat by logging, palm oil and rubber industries. This has resulted in the animals increasingly invading local villages, at times trampling locals to death and destroying homes and crops, as they return to land which was once their habitat and has now been settled by humans following logging. Villages in Lampung saw 327 elephants invade in a three month period during 2009, causing death and destruction as their own habitat continues to be threatened and depleted. Forest rangers and activists from the Wildlife Conservation Society are trying various methods to return them to the forests, including training them to keep away, along with hunting for illegal loggers. The current population for the mammals is estimated at 2000 to 2700.  (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

One of three recognized subspeces of the Asian Elephant the Sumatran elephant is native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra. With a life span of 10 to 15 years there are believed to be around 2,400 to 2,800 sumatran elephants left, putting them on the brink of extinction.

Amur Leopard

Amur Leopard walking towards camera. Credit to Colin Langford on Getty Images

A leopard subspecies native to the Primorye region of southeastern Russia and northern China. Recent counts suggest there are around 70 leopards remaining. With a lifespan of 10-15 years Amur leopards are solitary animals. Also known as the Far East leopard and the Manchurian or the Korean leopard.

Black Rhino

Black rhinoceros at Etosha National Park during the dry season Picture from Getty Images credit to Manuel Romaris

Native to eastern and southern Africa the black rhinoceros, or hook-lipped rhinoceros is estimated to have around 5,366 to 5,627 left. With lifespan of 35-50 years the black rhino has made a comeback though there is still a ways to go to get them off the critically endangered list.

Javan Rhino

Javan Rhino in water. Picture from

The Javan Rhino native to the tropical forests of northeast India and southeast Asia has only around 60 individuals left in the Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia. With so few left if the Javan rhinosof the park are lost the entire species will disappear.

Sumatran Rhino

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 19:  Emi, a Sumatran rhinoceros walks with her three week old female calf at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden August 19, 2004 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Emi made history by becoming the first Sumatran rhino to produce two calves in captivity.  (Photo by Mike Simons/Getty Images)

Also known as the hairy rhinoceros or Asian two-horned rhinoceros is the smallest of the living rhinoceros. Covered in long hair they are more closely related to the woolly rhinos than other living rhino species today. There are fewer than 80 left and only two captive females have reproduced in the last 15 years.


A mother cradling an infant Orangutan in lush rainforest foliage. Image from Getty images credit to georgeclerk

Great apes native to the rainforest of Indonesia and Malaysia Orangutans are known for their distinctive red fur and are the largest arboreal mammal. Orangutans live solitary lives, feasting on wild fruits and nesting in trees to sleep. Critically endangered the Orangutan is split into 3 species all of which are critically endangered.

Bornean Orangutan

Bornean Orangutan female carrying her son aged 3 years  (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii). Camp Rasak, Lamandau Nature Reserve, Central Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia. July  2010. Rehabilitated and released since 1998.

From the island of Borneo the Bornean orangutan has declined more than 50% over the past 60 years and has around 104,700 individuals left in the wild.

Sumatran Orangutan

The 29-years-old Sumatran Orangutan female Bini holds her 10-weeks-old baby Bulan in her arms in the zoo of Berlin on November 27, 2009. The orangutan baby was born on September 20, 2009 and is the fifth baby of the orangutan mother Bini. AFP PHOTO  DDP/   MICHAEL KAPPELER      GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read MICHAEL KAPPELER/DDP/AFP via Getty Images)

Found only in the north of the Indonesian island of Sumatra the Sumatran Orangutan is even rarer than it’s counterpart the Bornean orangutan. Believed to have a population of 14,613 only 7 of 9 populations are believed to have long term viability.

Cross River Gorilla

Cross River Gorilla and baby. Picture from

Believed to have only around 200 to 300 left the Cross River Gorilla inhabit rugged territory which made it difficult for scientist to study them. They are believed to be scattered in around 11 groups scattered across the lowland forests and rainforests of Cameroon and Nigeria.

Eastern Lowland Gorilla

A Familiy of Eastern Lowland Gorillas (gorilla beringei graueri) relaxing in the forest. The group is lingering aroud the family leader ("Silverback"). Location: Kahuzi Biega, Democratic Republic of Congo. Shot in wildlife.

The eastern lowland gorilla or Grauer’s gorilla is a subspecies of eastern gorilla native to the mountainous forests of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. They are believed to have a population of around 3,800 individuals left in the wild.

Western Lowland Gorilla

BROOKFIELD, IL - FEBRUARY 07:  Koola, a Western Lowland Gorilla and her daughter Bakari  at Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Illinois on FEBRUARY 7, 2015.  (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

The most numerous and widespread of all gorilla subspecies populations can be found in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea. While specific numbers are unknown as the gorillas inhabit some of the most dense and remote rainforests their population has declined more then 60% over the last 20 to 25 years due to poaching and disease.

Hawksbill Turtle

Hawksbill Turtle. Image from Getty Images credit to Paul Sonders.

The hawksbill sea turtle belonging to the Cheloniidae family are named for their narrow pointed beaks. Found throughout the world’s tropical oceans, predominantly their coral reefs they are a fundamental link in marine ecosystems and help maintain the health of coral reefs and sea grass beds..


Pseudoryx nghetinhensis - Saola 4 to 5 month old female at the Forest Inventory & Planning Institute botanical garden Ministry of Forestry, Hanoi, Vietnam (image from WWF)

The saola, also called the spindlehorn, or the Vu Quang bovid is one of the world’s rarest large mammals. A forest dwelling animal native to the Annamite range in Vietnam and Laos the Saola has a lifespan of approximately 8 to 12 years and there are believed to be less than 250 left in the world.

Sumatran Tiger

SAN FRANCISCO - MAY 18:  A Sumatran tiger, an endangered animal species, sits in its exhibit at the San Francisco Zoo May 18, 2007 in San Francisco, California. The U.S. celebrates the second annual Endangered Species Day with zoos, aquariums, parks and a host of educational institutions educating the public on how important it is to protect wildlife and the growing number of endangered species, both animals and plant life.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Native to the Indonesian Island of Sumatra, there are estimated to be under 400 left and accelerating deforestation and poaching could lead to their extinction.


Vaquita in the northern gulf of California. Image from WWF credit to Tom Jefferson

One of the world’s rarest mammals the vaquita is on the edge of extinction with around 10 individuals remaining. Discovered in 1958 the vaquita are often caught and killed by gillnets in illegal fishing operations and the population has dropped drastically in the last few years.

Yangtze Finless Porpoise

WUHAN, CHINA - JUNE 3: (CHINA OUT) A newly born Yangtze finless porpoise (top) swims with his mother at the Hydrobiology Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences on June 3, 2007 in Wuhan of Hubei Province, China. A male Yangtze finless porpoise, a cousin of the baiji dolphin and the sixth in the hydrobiology institute, was born on June 2 with 2.3 feet long and 11 pounds weight. Yangtze finless porpoise is the only porpoise in the world that lives in freshwater and the small dark grey mammal classified as endangered by the IUCN which meaning it is facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)

A species of toothed whale the yangtze finless porpoise are native to the Yangtze River in Asia. There are around 1000-1800 left.