The Rarest Animals on Earth Endangered species are those species which have been identified as being at risk of extinction. This means that due to human activities, the number of these species has drastically declined over time, leading them to the brink of extinction. Endangered species can be found in all areas of the world, whether that be in the sea, on the land, or even in the air.
While some species are on the brink of extinction, some can still be found in few numbers scattered throughout the world. These rare animals are often considered miracles in the animal kingdom, and they are of particular interest due to their scarcity. The following is a list of some of the rarest animals on Earth, as identified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Why Are Rare Animals Endangered?
The plight of rare animals is largely due to the threat of human activities, leading them to become endangered. These activities can include deforestation, climate change, pollution, poaching, and more. As humans continue to expand and build cities, their need for resources grows, and this leads to the destruction of habitats in order to accommodate these needs. This disruption not only affects the animal themselves, but it also impacts their food sources and natural environment, leading to their eventual demise.
The Rare Animals on Earth The Rarest Mammals
Guam flying fox (Pteropus tokudae)
This species of large fruit bat, found solely on the island of Guam, is the rarest mammal species on the planet, with only 10-25 individuals remaining. This critically endangered bat is threatened by the destruction of their habitat, as well as the introduction of a new species, the brown tree snake, which is a predator of the Guam Flying Fox.
Siberian Musk Deer (Moschus moschiferus sibiricus)
This rare species of deer can be found in parts of Russia, China, and Mongolia. With an estimated population of only around 400 individuals, this species is classified as ‘Critically Endangered’ by the IUCN. The main threats to this species are poaching for its highly valued musk gland, and loss of its grassland habitat.
giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus)
Commonly found in tropical lowland forests and grasslands, the giant armadillo is the largest species of armadillo, and the second largest land mammal in South America (after the jaguar). This species has an estimated global population of only 5,000 to 8,000 individuals, making it one of the rarest mammals on the planet. Its low population numbers can be attributed to its slow reproduction rate, as well as habitat loss and poaching.
The Rarest Birds
Kirtland’s Warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii)
This species of warbler is a small songbird originally found in oak forests of the mid-western United States and the Great Lakes region. While its population has increased since 1972, it is still considered endangered, with only about 3,300 individuals in existence. The main threats to this bird species are habitat destruction due to logging and fragmentation, as well as predation by cowbirds.
Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus)
This rare species of crane is found primarily in Asia, in countries such as Russia and China. This large bird is classified as ‘Critically Endangered’ by the IUCN, with only a remaining population of around 3,400 individuals. Major threats to this species include habitat loss and degradation, as well as hunting and egg-collection.
Rüppell’s Vulture (Gyps rueppellii)
Found in the dry semi-desert regions of Ethiopia and Djibouti, this species of vulture is considered the rarest bird on Earth with a population estimated to be less than 300-320 individuals. It is classified as ‘Critically Endangered’ by the IUCN, and its major threats include habitat disturbance, scarcity of food, and poisoning.
The Rarest Reptiles
Island Leaf-toed Gecko (Phyllodactylus nocticolus)
This species of gecko is endemic to the island of Galapagos and is considered one of the rarest reptiles on the planet, with an estimated 1,000 individuals remaining. It is classified as ‘Endangered’ by the IUCN, and the main threats to this species are habitat loss and degradation.
Flat-tailed Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma mcallii)
This species of lizard is endemic to the desert regions of California, and is found primarily in sandy areas with sparse vegetation. With an estimated population of around 1,600 individuals, this species is classified as ‘Endangered’ by the IUCN. Major threats to this species include habitat disturbance, climate change, and roadside mortality.
Philippine Crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis)
This species of crocodile is endemic to the Philippines, where it is found in freshwater lakes and rivers. It is considered the rarest crocodilian species in the world, with an estimated global population of only 500-600 individuals. Its major threats are habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as water pollution.
The Rarest Fish
Devils Hole Pupfish (Cyprinodon diabolis)
This rare species of fish is endemic to the Devils Hole region of the Nevada Desert, in the United States. With an estimated global population of fewer than 200 individuals, this species is classified as ‘Critically Endangered’ by the IUCN. It is threatened primarily by drought, as well as the introduction of non-native species.
Blue Parrotfish (Scarus coeruleus)
This brightly colored fish is endemic to the Caribbean Sea, where it is found in lagoons and reefs. Its population is estimated to be around 1,000 individuals, making it one of the rarest fish species in the world. The primary threats to this fish are overfishing and habitat destruction due to coastal development.
Madagascar Jawfish (Opistognathus madagascariensis)
This species of colorful fish is endemic to Madagascar and is found in areas of rocky, shallow water. It is one of the rarest fish species in the world, with an estimated population of less than 500 individuals. The primary threats to this fish are habitat destruction and over-collection for the aquarium trade.
It is clear that there are a number of rare and endangered species residing on Earth, with many facing the risk of extinction due to human activities. It is important that we take action to protect these species and the habitats they call home, as they are essential to the health and wellbeing of our planet. By doing so, we can help ensure that these miracle species of animals are able to survive and thrive for generations to come.