All around the world countless creatures are threatened with extinction. It's difficult to feel connected to the deaths of all these beautiful animals when so many of them seem worlds away. Yet, even in North America there are over a thousand endangered creatures. Habitat loss and poaching are major problems for animals all over. The problem remains that the human population continues to grow unchecked, which means that people must take over the habitat of other animals to survive.
It's a tragic tale as old as time. In order to save animals, humans must control their own population and resource use, otherwise every creature - including humans - will suffer horrible consequences.
If some of these animals do become extinct, it could mean the end for the human race as well. The following countries are those most at risk, which require the most help; they're host to the greatest number of endangered species.
15 Tanzania: 416 Species
Tanzania includes many diverse habitats and animals. Unfortunately, many of these unique creatures are endangered. Tanzania has forests, moorlands, savannas, woodlands, lakes and mangroves. All of these places contain exotic animals. Their list of endangered animals includes the black rhino, leatherback turtles, wild dogs and monkeys. The WWF is attempting to help this precious region recover its animal populations, and you can help too.
14 14: Philippines: 456 Species
According to Conservation International, the Philippines is one of the biologically diverse areas in the world. Rainforests cover the islands and include thousands of species of animals. People are destroying these rainforests though, and in turn, the beautiful creatures there. Indeed, only around 7% of these rainforests remain. Some of the endangered species here include the Philippine eagle, the spotted deer and the Tarsier. People can help by donating money to conservation projects.
13 13: Cameroon: 484 Species
In all of Africa, Cameroon has the second highest concentration of biodiversity. Containing over 320 different mammals, there is a great push to help the area's endangered creatures. In fact, every one of Africa's great ape species are endangered and in danger of going extinct. There are sanctuaries for these apes, as well as many other endangered species, but habitat loss and poaching remain a very real problem.
12 12: Peru: 508 Species
Although many Andean creatures are protected by the government, they still are threatened with extinction. One adorable cat is called the Andean Mountain Cat, and is on the endangered species list. This cat is not in any captive places. Habitat loss is a major problem for the region's animals. Also included on this list is the Andean Condor, which has low reproductive rates, aiding its decline.
11 Madagascar: 530 Species
In a matter of 11 years (from 1999 to 2010), 615 new species were discovered in Madagascar. The area contains one of the rarest creatures on the planet, the Silky Sifaka lemur (pictured above). The island boasts one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet, with rainforests as well as deserts and dry forests. Because of this rich climate, it holds many unique animal species. Unfortunately, many are endangered. There are organizations that help these creatures, including the WWF, but it may be too little too late for some of the region's animals.
10 India: 552 Species
India has a multitude of unique and exotic animal species. For marine creatures, pollution and overfishing is causing serious, rapid endangerment. Some of these marine animals include the critically endangered hawksbill turtle and the Gharial, which is called the fish-eating crocodile. In addition, there are many land animals facing extinction, such as the Sumatran rhino and the gorgeous Asiatic lion. In this country, it is vital to move quickly to prevent all of these animals from going extinct.
9 Columbia: 593 Species
In Columbia, the biologically diverse areas are being completely destroyed. It is one of the top biologically diverse areas in the world, being the home of hundreds of sensitive creatures. Because there has been little to no planning, the forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate. Some of the creatures that are endangered include parrots, toucans, tamarins, ocelots and margay cats (pictured above). Now, there are initiatives to help the delicate ecosystems that are threatened, but they are working against time.
8 Australia: 621 Species
Australia is known for having hundreds of unique animals, including a vast amount that can be deadly. But now, these creatures are largely facing endangerment and extinction. The woylie, pygmy possum and hairy-nosed wombats are just a few. Habitat loss remains a major issue for the majority of these endangered animals.
7 Brazil: 697 Species
A large amount of animals in Brazil are threatened. These include the jaguar and sea turtle. Currently, there are around 700 species that are endangered, with others already extinct. There are government, as well as activist programs designed to protect these delicate and valuable creatures but deforestation is still a major problem.
6 Mexico: 748 Species
Mexico is home to a surprising 1/10th of all land animals in the world. Even more diverse than other areas with rainforests, Mexico is in dire need of wildlife protection. In fact, there are already 30 species that have gone completely extinct. The jaguar, monkeys and porpoise are especially in need of protection.
5 China: 773 Species
In China, there has been a great effort to protect the remaining animal species from extinction. In 1995, a total of 8.7% of national territory came under protection in the form of reserves and national forest area. These efforts have slowed the decline in populations for creatures such as the Eld deer and Chinese alligator, even increasing it in many cases. However, many other animals, in different areas of China still need a lot of help to recover their populations, especially due to increased habitat loss.
4 Indonesia: 833 Species
Indonesia holds one of the world's richest areas for biodiversity. Its rainforests are vast and thick with plants and animals. However, these areas are steadily being destroyed, never to be reclaimed. People now are looking to preserve the existing rainforests, and the unique flora and fauna that exist there. These animals include the orangutans, Sumatran tigers, elephants and rhinos. Activist groups such as SIES are looking to help the decline of these valuable areas.
3 Malaysia: 892 Species
Malaysia, like many other diverse areas, includes rainforests, seas and freshwater areas for a multitude of species. It has an unusually high density of rare species. There are 1,500 land mammals alone. However, these animals are in dire need of protection in order to save their populations. Some of these creatures include the tiger, rhino, elephant and turtle.
2 United States: 1,143 Species
Many are surprised to see the United States so high on this list. Before the arrival of Europeans to the land however, the country was home to millions of now extinct or endangered flora and fauna. Animals such as the cougar and wolf are endangered and need help to reclaim territory. The Northern Great Plains, for example, is 180 million acres and once held millions of bison, pronghorn, ferrets and birds. Conservationists are attempting to help regrow these populations.
1 Ecuador: 2,588 Species
Ecuador is by far the country with the most endangered species. Over 2,500 species of animals are in danger, including reptiles, amphibians, mammals, fish and corals. The Andean spectacled bear, for example, has only 3,000 individuals or less remaining. It is the only bear in the entirety of South America and if it is gone, many other species will suffer. People can do their part to protect this valuable home by donating money and joining causes that support Ecuador rainforests and sustainable practices.