Quantcast
Animals

5 Species Bouncing Back From the Brink of Extinction

Our planet is incredible and so are the creatures that inhabit it. Sadly, their habitats are under threat. Every two seconds, an area of rainforest the size of a football field is lost to human destruction. Oceans are filling with plastic and everyday, illegal trade and poaching are threatening to wipe entire species off the face of the planet.

However, these five amazing species are pulling back from the brink of extinction.

1. The Ili Pika, Spotted For the First Time in 20 Years

Photo credit: Li Weidong Natural Ecological Protection Studio/Li Weidong

The almost impossibly cute Ili Pika is so rare that it was believed extinct for more than 20 years before it reappeared in March 2015.

The "magic rabbit" was discovered by accident in 1983 by conservationist Li Weidong in Northwest China’s Xinjiang region and has been spotted only a handful of times since then. The last glimpse of the tiny creature with the teddy bear face was caught in 1990, leading to fears that it had been lost forever.

The re-emergence of the rare creature has given hope to Li Weidong and other conservationists. But climate change and an expanding human population at the foot of the mountain means that the creature is still under threat. Li is now fighting for official conservation status for the Ili Pika.

2. Record Number of Manatees Off the Florida Coast

Photo credit: Psyberartist / Creative Commons

Conservation efforts for the manatees are being held up as a global success story. A record number were counted off the Florida coast this month. The slow moving sea creatures are in fact distant relatives of the landlubbing elephant. Among the first species to be classified as endangered in 1973, their population has leapt up from only 1,267 in 1991 to more than 6,000 today.

3. China’s Wild Panda Population is Up 17 percent!

Photo credit: Fuse / Thinkstock

Wild populations of the Giant Panda, the rarest bear on the planet, saw an unprecedented leap of almost 17 percent in the past decade, according to China’s 2015 National Survey of Giant Pandas. This is amazing progress, especially given that it’s notoriously difficult for pandas to breed.

Their population growth is the result of decades of concerted effort, including establishing nature reserves and safe habitats for the pandas in its native Sichuan Province, in southwest China. Finally starting to pay off.

Sadly, the Giant Panda is still facing serious threat from habitat fragmentation. Find out more about our work fighting illegal logging in the Giant Panda’s habitat here.

4. The Amur Leopard Population Doubled in 2015

The beautiful and elusive Amur leopard has made remarkable progress, more than doubling its population in just seven years. The world’s rarest cat, the Amur leopard roams the broad expanses of forest and mountain in northeastern China and eastern Russia. Since a national park was established to protect their habitat in 2012, their population has grown from only 30 to 57.

5. Yunnan Golden Monkey

Sometimes referred to as "the wild men of the mountains," these rare primates live at altitudes of 4,000 m and higher in the mountains of southwestern China’s Yunnan province. With a small population of only around 3000 and living in such remote locations, many suspected that the Yunnan Golden Monkey was extinct until the 1960s, when researchers found skeletons of the monkey on sale in the province.

Inhabiting only areas of pristine mountain forest, the monkeys are extremely vulnerable to deforestation. However, numerous projects to protect the high altitude forests of Yunnan have helped the Yunnan Golden Monkey to make a comeback. Some localities have seen their population triple since the 1980s.

Hundreds of species across the world face threats to their existence. But if there is one thing the above five unique animals show, it’s that conservation works! It can be a lot of work, but protecting animal habitats can help these special creatures we share the world with to survive and thrive.

We can all play a part in helping these animals. We can support ocean sanctuaries, call for an end to deforestation and act against habitat threatening climate change. All these small acts help bring about change, and help create a world flourishing in spectacular wildlife.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Penguin Swims 5,000 Miles Each Year to Visit the Man Who Rescued Him

Palm Oil Scorecard: Find Out Which Brands Are (and aren’t) Helping Save Indonesia’s Rainforests

How You Can Help Save the Whales by Eating the Right Fish

Wild Baby Wolverines Make On-Screen Debut in Remarkable New Documentary

Show Comments ()
Sponsored
Animation showing percent of acres burning worldwide. NASA / GSFC / SVS

New NASA Study Solves Climate Mystery, Confirms Methane Spike Tied to Oil and Gas

By Sharon Kelly

Over the past few years, natural gas has become the primary fuel that America uses to generate electricity, displacing the long-time king of fossil fuels, coal. In 2019, more than a third of America's electrical supply will come from natural gas, with coal falling to a second-ranked 28 percent, the Energy Information Administration predicted this month, marking the growing ascendency of gas in the American power market.

Keep reading... Show less
Pexels

Forest Gardening With Space for Wild Elephants

By Michael B. Commons

In my collaboration with Terra Genesis International, I have been given space and support to investigate what we may call "Regenerative Pathways," looking at real life examples of functional farming systems that we can identify as being on the "Regenerative Agriculture Pathway."

While these farms/farming systems might be called "Regenerative Farms," we see regeneration more as a long term process and continuum that we can evaluate through indicators such as soil health, water retention, biodiversity, community health and more.

Keep reading... Show less
Slava Bowman / Unsplash

How Can We Help Put a Human Face on Climate Change?

By John R. Platt

Communicating the truths about climate change isn't always easy. Sometimes the effects of climate change seem to hover in the future, or are occurring most visibly in other parts of the world. Other times they're subtle—at least for now. And of course, there are some people who just don't want to hear anything about it.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Aerial view of Yaguas River and the Cachimbo tributary. Alvaro del Campo, Field Museum

Peru's Newest National Park Safeguards 2 Million Acres of Amazon Rainforest

The Peruvian government announced it will establish a new and enormous national park in the Amazon.

Yaguas National Park, located in the northern region of Loreto, consists of 2,147,166 acres of rainforest, a vast river system and is home to more than 3,000 species of plants, 500 species of birds and 160 species of mammals, including giant otters, woolly monkeys, Amazonian river dolphins and manatees. The park also features 550 fish species—one of the richest fish faunas in the world.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Molteno Dam Reservoir in Cape Town. Wikimedia Commons

Will Cape Town Become the First Major City to Run Out of Water?

Cape Town is on track to become the first major city in the world to run out of water.

The world-renowned tourist destination—and the second-most populous urban area in South Africa after Johannesburg—could approach "Day Zero," when most taps run dry, by April 21, Mayor Patricia de Lille said Tuesday.

Keep reading... Show less
Adventure
The mountains of Haiti. PO2 Daniel Barker / DVIDS

Haiti’s Most Popular Ecotourism Destinations

The tropical Caribbean island of Haiti is a paradise with a rich, fascinating history, natural wonders and diverse cultural offerings. It has also been named by some as the next big thing in regional tourism.

But ecotourism in particular could become important for Haiti, with its rich land and sea biodiversity. Globally, the business of ecotourism generates more than $600 billion a year and is connected to hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Politics
iStock

Nearly All Coastal Governors Denounce Plan to Expand Offshore Oil Drilling

Politicians from coastal states around the country continue to call for their states to be exempt from the Trump administration's proposed expansion of offshore drilling following its politically-tinged decision last week to remove Florida from the plan.

The Interior Department said last week that Secretary Ryan Zinke had spoken with seven coastal governors opposed to drilling, including the governors of North and South Carolina, Rhode Island, Delaware and Washington. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's office told press Zinke would consider removing the state from the plan following their call, while California Gov. Jerry Brown's office reports that Zinke promised to travel to the state to further discuss the offshore leases.

Keep reading... Show less
Health
Rob Hainer / IStock

In Alabama, a Cleanup Unearths Toxins—and Scandal

By Matt Smith

Lot by lot, backhoes and dump trucks are scraping and hauling away yards on the north side of Birmingham to remove soil laced with heavy metals and other industrial wastes—the legacy of this city's years as a steelmaking power.

Federal prosecutors say that effort also uncovered something else: a scheme to save polluters millions by putting the neighborhood's representative in Montgomery on their payroll.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!