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5 Animals on the Endangered Species List You Should Know

Updated: Dec 21, 2023

Photo Credit: Nick Fewings

Nature is crawling — sometimes literally — with wildlife. But many human activities like deforestation, wildlife crimes, and overfishing can lead to animals earning a spot on the endangered species list. These animals are essential to their ecosystems and deserve to be protected. In honor of National Endangered Species Day, we wanted to showcase a few animals on the endangered species list that you should know.

Let’s dive in together!

Photo Credit: David Clode

Black Rhino

(Diceros Bicornis)

Contrary to its name, the black rhino isn’t actually black! These two-horned living fossils live in the semi-desert savannahs, woodlands, forests, and wetlands of Africa and are noticeably the smallest of the two rhino species found there. What sets it apart from white rhinos is its hooked upper lip, which it uses to browse and feed on leaves from bushes and trees.

Between 1960 and 1995, black rhino population numbers dropped by 98%, leaving them teetering on the brink of extinction. Community-wide conservation and preservation efforts resulted in black rhino populations bouncing back, doubling to about 5,600. Organizations like the World Wildlife Foundation are working alongside individuals to continue cutting down on wildlife crime like poaching and black-market rhino horn trafficking to give the species a chance at a full recovery.


Kids can learn more fun animal and Earth facts with our products!


Photo Credit: Rezal Scharfe

Amur Leopard

(Panthera Pardus Orientalis)

When most people think of leopards, they imagine them regally resting in the African savannas. However, a rare leopard lives in the trees of eastern Russia and northern China, the Amur leopard. This stunning big cat is named for the Amur River, which runs along the border of both countries.

Amur leopards can reportedly leap 19 feet horizontally and 10 feet vertically, making them impressive predators. Poachers often target these leopards for their beautiful spotted coats. In the early 2000s, approximately 30 Amur leopards existed in the wild, but they are clawing their way off the critically endangered species list thanks to preservation and conservation efforts. To date, there are more than 84 Amur leopards and counting!

Photo Credit: World Wildlife Fund

Cross River Gorilla

(Gorilla Beringei Graueri)

Also known as Grauer’s gorilla, this gorilla subspecies is the most mysterious animal on our list of endangered species you should know. Although these primates have a stocky body, large hands, and a short muzzle, they are primarily herbaceous, enjoying fruits and other plants. Cross River gorillas live in the lowlands of tropical rainforests in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which is often the site of civil unrest.

Because of this violence and other threats like poaching, habitat destruction, and illegal mining, the actual population of Cross River gorillas is unknown. Scientists estimate that 17,000 gorillas lived in the wild during the mid-1990s but believe that number to have declined by at least 50% in recent years.

Photo Credit: Polina Razorilova

Giant Panda

(Ailuropoda Melanoleuca)

Let’s face it; everyone loves pandas! They have the strongest aww factor of any animal, thanks to their soft black-and-white fur and the fact that baby pandas are the size of a stick of butter. You can find them up high in the temperate broadleaf and mixed forests of southwest China, dining on their favorite dish, bamboo! They love it so much that they can eat around 26 to 84 pounds of it every day, depending on what part of the bamboo they’re snacking on (can you think of anything you could eat that much?).

Today, approximately 1,846 Panda is in the wild, earning them a spot on our list. Despite adopting more stringent habitat protections since the ‘80s, poaching remains a problem in China. Other factors that contribute to their endangerment include disease, occasional predation, and starvation.

Photo Credit: World Wildlife Fund

North Atlantic Right Whale

(Eubalaena Glacialis)

If you look out into the ocean, you can easily spot a North Atlantic right whale. They’re identifiable by the calluses on its head that are a stark contrast from its dark gray body. Right whales get their name from early whalers who believed they were the “right” whales to hunt.

North Atlantic right whales are the most endangered of all large white whales, with only 300-350 believed to be alive. Over-exploitation is the leading cause of its endangered status, alongside other threats like entanglement in fishing gear, collisions with ships, and separation from calving areas contributing to their demise.


A note from PETAL Wildlife - Although we only brought awareness to five animals on the endangered species list, there are countless others on that ever-growing roster, and they need your protection. At PETAL Wildlife., we are committed to educating the world and protecting the incredible wildlife that exists and does so through our online store.

We offer unique and educational items on endangered wildlife and habitats and donate 100% of our annual net profits to wildlife conservation organizations and schools to further wildlife education in the classroom.

If you are interested in learning more about our products or the organizations we support, don’t hesitate to contact our team! Shop our products below or you can also support our mission by donating any amount!

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