Study Material | Test Series
Drishti IAS
call1800-121-6260 / 011-47532596
Drishti The Vision Foundation
(A unit of VDK Eduventures Pvt. Ltd.)
Two-thirds of Wild Animals May Go Extinct by 2020
Dec 26, 2016

According to a study released by The Living Planet, nearly 60% of all animals with a backbone–fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals–have been wiped out since 1970 by human excesses,.

The WWF and the Zoological Society of London have warned in their joint biennial Living Planet Index that two-thirds of all animals can go extinct by 2020.

Destruction of wild habitats, increasing pollution, rampant poaching and exploitation for food are the dominant reasons behind such terrible collapse of wildlife. From killer whales and dolphins in European seas to elephants, gorillas, vultures and salamanders–all are being seriously harmed by long-lived industrial pollutants.

Here’s look at the animals those will go extinct and remain only in pictures by 2020.

  • Iberian lynx: It is world’s most endangered feline species and mostly found in the Iberian Peninsula, southwestern Europe. After a careful conservation effort taken to prevent its extinction, now the population is 400.
  • Bornean Orangutan: Its populations have declined by more than 50% over the past 60 years, and the species’ habitat has been reduced by at least 55% over the past 20 years.
  • Wild Bactrian camel: They are the two-humped, domesticated camels who can adapt to all kinds of harsh environments. This is also is assessed as critically endangered species and only about 1,000 Bactrian Camels remain in the wild.
  • Seychelles sheath-tailed bat: It is also considered to be the critically endangered species and already extinct on several islands in the Seychelles.
  • Alligator: It’s a crocodilian in the genus Alligatoridae family. In 1967, the alligator was listed as an endangered species, since it is still believed to be in danger of extinction because of intensively farmed for meat and leather.
  • Javan rhinos: They are the most threatened of the five rhino species, with 60 individuals surviving in Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia.
  • The pied tamarin: It is an endangered species found in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest. There are several breeding programs have been conducted to conserve these creatures to ensure its survival.
  • Tigers: All tiger subspecies put together currently amount to fewer than 3,000 endangered tigers remaining in the wild. They are endangered because of climate change, loss of habitat and poaching or illegal hunting.
  • Gorilla: Like tigers, the mountain gorilla has become the most endangered species now due to poaching, habitat destruction.
  • Polar bear: These are the first species that is affected because of global warming, which negatively affects their natural habitat and now are in serious danger of going extinct
  • Leatherback turtle: It is named for its leather-like shell. This species is considered to be facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild. Habitat loss, irresponsible fishing, water pollution are the major reasons that cause of its endangerment.
  • Pangolins: These are primarily nocturnal animals easily recognized by their full armor of scales. One of its species called Chinese pangolin is found to be critically endangered majorly due to illegal poaching, trading and habitat loss.
  • Wild dolphins: They are considered endangered due to many natural dangers within the deep expanse of the ocean. There are currently around 40 known species of dolphin in existence today. Also, the increased popularity of swimming with dolphins have brought dolphins into danger as their feeding and breeding areas are being invaded by tourists.
  • Killer whales: These are also on the list of endangered species and are vulnerable to a number of threats of natural within the deep expanse of the ocean, oil spills, noise pollution, collisions with ships, entanglement in fishing gear, shootings by fishermen, and habitat disturbance.

Human activity, including habitat loss, wildlife trade, pollution and climate change contributed to the declines.

This analysis looked at 3,700 different species of birds, fish, mammals, amphibians and reptiles—about 6 per cent of the total number of vertebrate species in the world.

The team collected data from peer-reviewed studies, government statistics and surveys collated by conservation groups and NGOs. Any species with population data going back to 1970, with two or more time points (to show trends) was included in the study. The researchers then analysed how the population sizes had changed over time.

The last report, published in 2014, estimated that the world’s wildlife populations had halved over the last 40 years.


Helpline Number : 87501 87501
To Subscribe Newsletter and Get Updates.