Though the red panda is legally protected in India, Nepal, Myanmar, and China, scientists still consider them endangered. This is mainly due to human interference, poaching, habitat loss, and degradation. Over the last two decades, their population has decreased by nearly 40%. This is a shocking number that puts their species and risk of extinction into perspective. They’re important because they help balance the ecosystem and keep the amount of bamboo in the world under control. If bamboo goes out of control, it affects the forest, which in turn affects the plants and animals living there. It’s a domino effect (Conserve Energy Future).
Due to habitat loss because of human interference, like mineral mining, scientists consider flamingos well on their way to becoming an endangered species. There are around 80,000-90,000 American flamingos left in the world. Researchers find it difficult to get an accurate count of flamingos because they often fly around and move habitats. Photographer Claudio Contreras Koob captured this photograph of flamingos lying at Mexico’s RÃa Lagartos Biosphere Reserve. They picked up the chicks and brought them back to the safety of the colony. Because flamingos are sensitive to changes in the environment, scientists are worried climate change will have a drastic effect on their species (Flamingos World).
This Barbigant seahorse is a male who is pregnant. You can’t tell from this photograph, but they only grow to a maximum of three-quarters of an inch long. Photographer Nicholas More captured this stunning photo in Bali. The way this species survives is by mimicking the colors of the host they grip on to, in this case, a pink sea fan. They gestate for two weeks before giving birth to tiny, live young. Out of 35 species of seahorses, scientists only consider around 11 of them vulnerable. One species is endangered, one is near threatened, and two as least concerned. This is due to habitat change and climate change. Seahorses are often accidentally captured by fishing nets intended to capture shrimp (Project Sea Horse).
Photographers put in long hours in harsh conditions just to capture the ideal shot. This photographer is no exception. Deena Sveinsson waited long hours in freezing conditions. Just as she was about to give up, she spotted this Snowshoe Hare sitting in a mound of snow, looking straight at her. Unfortunately, due to climate change and habitat loss, scientists now consider the snowshoe hare species under threat. They’re well on their way to endangerment. Some habitats that previously had snow for long periods are now seeing warmer climates, endangering many species that rely on the cold, wintery seasons for survival (Animalia).
This beautiful creature, named Dantita, lives in the foothills of Braulio Carrillo National Park. They’re referred to as gardeners of the forest, and their species is important to their natural habitat since seeds germinate after passing through the tapir. But the species is now endangered, due to threats from deforestation and hunting, climate change, and road development. There are less than 4,500 ones left in the wild. They are large creatures and have a slow rate of reproduction, which is why their species is also very susceptible to climate change. Several conservation groups come together to help protect this species and work closely with communities to preserve this now-endangered species (Rewild).
In Vancouver Island, Canada, the photographer spotted this lone wolf wandering through eelgrass over a mudflat. Photographer Bertie Gregory was searching for black bears when he captured this majestic photograph of the species that is now under threat. Though researchers don’t consider them fully endangered, only 250,000 remain in the world. The endangered act protects gray wolves in the USA. Wolves are incredibly important, as they improve the habitat and help control certain species of bird and trout (Living with Wolves).
These majestic creatures are difficult to capture because of their stealthiness and ability to conceal. Sascha Fonseca captured this image to go against the unethical practices of photography, like using bait to lure animals to the lens, and prove that photographers do not need bait to draw an animal to their lens. The photographer spotted this snow leopard in the snowy mountains of Ladakh, India. Snow leopards, though not yet endangered, are considered vulnerable because of their dwindling numbers due to climate change, poaching, habitat loss, and the killing of their prey. They’re especially susceptible to changes in the environment, which is happening at a pace faster than humans can comprehend (World Wild Life).
In this photograph, we see a short, yet intense fight between two muskoxen as they fight over a female in heat. The fight was not as intense as the photographer, Miquel Angel ArtÃºs Illana, anticipated. But he still captured an enticing fight. He had followed the female, a male, and their three calves for four days before witnessing this fight. Though not endangered, scientists listed their species as the least concern, which is good news for the muskoxen species. Their species is considered stable, with around 80,000 to 120,000 left in the world. At least there’s some good news in this world, and not every species is going extinct (Discover Wildlife).