Animals on the Brink of Survival
Out of the nearly two million discovered species on our beautiful planet (out of an estimated 5 to 100 million specifically unidentified), around 16,000 of those are endangered and facing possible extinction. As human pollution and influence in the natural world increases, the number of endangered species in the world has increased to an all-time high. But due to the conscious efforts of numerous international and regional conservation groups, some species are making a slow rebound away from extermination and their populations are returning to the natural world.
International groups, such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), aid the conservationist movement by reporting objective facts regarding plant and animal species habitat, population growth, and possible risks toward decline and extinction. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species ranks plant and animal species (based upon common criteria such as population size, generation length, location, and quantitative analysis) by their possibility of extinction. The levels by which the IUCN categorizes these plant and animal species include:
Extinct (EX) – A taxon is Extinct when there is no reasonable doubt that the last individual has died.
Extinct in the Wild (EW) – A taxon is Extinct in the Wild when it is known only to survive in cultivation, in captivity, or as a naturalized population (or populations) well outside the past range.
Critically Endangered (CR) – A taxon is Critically Endangered when the best available evidence indicates that … [is] facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
Endangered (EN) – A taxon is Endangered when the best available evidence indicates that it… [is] facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild.
Vulnerable (VU) – A taxon is Vulnerable when the best available evidence indicates that it… [is] facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.
Near Threatened (NT) – A taxon is Near Threatened when it has been evaluated against the criteria but does not qualify for Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable now, but is close to qualifying for or is likely to qualify for a threatened category in the near future.
Least Concern (LC) – A taxon is Least Concern when it has been evaluated against the criteria and does not qualify for Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable or Near Threatened. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.
Data Deficient (DD) – A taxon is Data Deficient when there is inadequate information to make a direct, or indirect, assessment of its risk of extinction based on its distribution and/or population status.
Not Evaluated (NE) – A taxon is Not Evaluated when it is has not yet been evaluated against the criteria.
*These categories and definitions have been taken directly from the IUCN Categories and Criteria page.
Endangered and Critically Endangered Species at the Los Angeles Zoo
Anoa, lowland (Bubalus depressicornis)- EN
Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) – EN
Deer, Calamian (Axis calamianensis) – EN
Dog, African wild (Lycaon pictus) – EN
Elephant, Asian (Elephas maximus) – EN
Gazelle, Speke’s (Gazella spekei) – EN
Gibbon, buff-cheeked (Nomascus gabriellae) – EN
Gorilla, Western lowland (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) – CR
Langur, Francois’s (Trachypithecus francoisi) – EN
Lemur, Sclater’s blue-eyed (Eulemur macaco flavifrons) – CR
Leopard, snow (Panthera uncia) – EN
Markhor, Tadjik (Capra falconeri) – EN
Monkey, black-handed spider (Ateles geoffroyi) – EN
Monkey, crested capuchin (Cebus apella robustus) – EN
Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) – EN
Otter, giant (Pteronura brasiliensis) – EN
Peccary, Chacoan giant (Catagonus wagneri) – EN
Pig, Visayan warty (Sus cebifrons) – CR
Pronghorn, peninsular (Antilocapra americana peninsularis) – CR
Rat, Panay bushy-tailed cloud (Crateromys heaneyi) – EN
Siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus) – EN
Tamarin, cotton-headed (Saguinus oedipus) – CR
Tamarin, golden lion (Leontopithecus rosalia) – EN
Tapir, mountain (Tapirus pinchaque) – EN
Tiger, Sumatran (Panthera tigris sumatrae) – CR
Zebra, Grevy’s (Equus grevyi) – EN
Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) – CR
Salamander, Chinese giant (Andrias davidianus) – CR
Iguana, Fiji Island banded (Brachylophus fasciatus) – EN
Tortoise, common spider (Pyxis arachnoides) – CR
Tortoise, elongated (Indotestudo elongate) – EN
Tortoise, Madagascar radiated (Astrochelys radiate) – CR
Turtle, McCord’s snake-necked (Chelodina mccordi) – CR
Woma (Aspidites ramsayi) – EN
Conure, sun (Aratinga solstitialis) – EN
Curassow, blue-billed (Crax alberti) – CR
Parrot, thick-billed (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha) – EN