The 6 Rarest Animals in the World
Studies have shown that there are at least 35 different animals with world populations of under 1000. Endangered by habitat destruction, hunting and smuggling, these animals have the smallest chances of recovery out of all other creatures on earth. Here is a rundown of 6 of the rarest animals left in the wild.
Number one is the Pinta Island tortoise, a native of the Galapagos isles. This animal was already considered extinct in 1971 until a single male was discovered by rangers. The Charles Darwin Research Station has since been searching for a female tortoise.
Second on the list is the Baiji or Yangtze River Dolphin, numbering no more than a few tens of individuals. The dolphin is a victim of China’s breakneck economic growth; the numerous dams as barrages built along the river have fragmented the dolphin population and reduced the habitat area.
Third goes to the Vancouver Island Marmot, found in the high mountainous regions of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. In 1998, population of this species was decimated to 75 marmots which triggered efforts to breed them in captivity. 2005 saw 150 marmots living in captivity and over 44 pups born while 30 or so were still living in the wild.
The fourth rarest animal is the Seychelles Sheath-tailed Bat that lives in the Seychelles Islands north of Madagascar. Fewer than 100 still live and scientists are seeking to breed the bat in captivity so the population can increase to 500, enough for the species to propagate and persist.
Fifth on the list is the Javan rhino from Indonesia. Fewer than 60 animals survive in only two known locations: Indonesia and Vietnam. Hunted to extinction in Southeast Asia for its horn, which is believed to have medicinal uses and losing most of its habitat due to intense agricultural activity, the Javan rhino may not last because of its small population will become susceptible to disease and inbreeding.
Lastly, the hispid hare or the ‘bristly rabbit’ found only in the southern foothills of the Himalayan mountain chain, Nepal, Bengal and Assam. Reduced in number by harmful deforestation, human settlements, agricultural intrusions into its habitat areas, the rabbit’s population is down to 110 animals and conservationists are having difficulty breeding the rabbit in captivity.