In the post we discuss the list of endangered animals in Africa – which species are on the list, and just how endangered they are.
There are over 1,100 species of mammals and 2,600 species of birds in Africa. A number of these species are now at risk of extinction, primarily due to human activities such as poaching and habitat destruction.
How do we know what African animals are endangered?
In 1964 the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) established their ‘Red List of Threatened Species’. This Red List has evolved over the decades to become the gold standard for understanding the conservation status of all animal, fungi and plant species globally, providing critical information about range, population size, habitat and ecology of all potentially threatened species.
Each year the Red List places species into one of nine categories: Not Evaluated, Data Deficient, Least Concern, Near Threatened, Vulnerable, Endangered, Critically Endangered, Extinct in the Wild and Extinct.
When species are referred to as endangered, it’s generally accepted that they will be in one of three specific Red List categories:
- Critically Endangered
So far, more than 96,500 species globally have been assessed by IUCN for the Red List, of which more than 26,500 are threatened with extinction. These species cover plants as well as animals, and are made up of amphibians, birds, conifers, coral reefs, crustaceans, mammals, and sharks & rays. Of these 26,500 endangered species, the below list details all African mammals and birds that are currently classified as either critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable.
It’s important to note that African species classified as endangered evolves over time. Sadly the net number of African endangered species has been increasing over the years, but there are some conservation success stories where animals are actually removed from the endangered list.
The Southern White Rhino is one such success story. In 1895 these created had been hunted into virtual extinction, with an estimated 100 left in South Africa. A century of conservation and anti poaching efforts later, and there are now around 20,000 Southern White Rhinos thriving in national parks and private game reserves across Southern Africa.
That’s the complete list of African endangered species (looking at mammals and birds only). What’s your take on this – any animals that surprise you by making the list, or being left off it? Let us know in the comments section below!
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