5. LEATHERBACK TURTLE
The Leatherback Turtle is one of the largest reptiles in the world and has survived for over a hundred million years. This extraordinary animal is showing signs of extinction as its numbers are declining across the world, particularly in the Pacific Ocean where only about 2300 female specimens remain. Increased global temperature has led to nest warming, which plays a gender deciding role for the turtles. The higher nest temperature leads to more female turtle births so male population is dwindling and with it the reproduction rate of the turtles. WWF is focusing on conserving the migratory pathways of these turtles, protecting the nesting sites and creating awareness in the local communities to protect and preserve the species.
4. LIBERIAN LYNX
This feline species resides in southern European regions and WWF research suggests that the number of individuals remaining in the wild is approximately around 110. This may be the first cat species to become extinct in the past 2000 years. Loss and degradation of habitat along with dwindling food resources has been the main cause of the sheer decline in numbers. Scientists believe that there may be as little as 38 breeding females left in the wild. WWF is calling the Spanish National Government and the Regional Government of Andalucia to urgently commence a captive breeding program for these cats.
3. PACIFIC WALRUS
The Pacific Walrus has been one of the latest victims of the global climate changes. Melting of ice at the poles has been the main cause of their decline in population, as these animals used floating ice for shelter, reproduction and protection from predators. The number has declined so much that the US Fish and Wildlife Services warranted the inclusion of the Pacific Walrus into the endangered species list in 2009.
2. BEARDED VULTURE
This majestic bird resides in the mountainous regions of Africa, Southern Europe and Asia. There are only about 100 breeding nests remaining in the European region. This is the rarest raptor across Europe as its habitat comprises exclusively of high rock ledges and mountainous slopes. The bird has a wingspan of up to 90 inches and weighs from 11 to 15 pounds.
1. ASIATIC CHEETAH
The cat is also known as the Iranian cheetah, as the only known survivors of this species now reside in Iran. Its habitat comprises of vast deserts in fragmented pieces of remaining suitable habitat. Latest researches indicate that there are only about 70 to 100 Asiatic Cheetahs remaining in the world. The critically endangered species, as classified by the IUCN, mostly lives in five sanctuaries across Iran and WWF has emphasized continuous efforts to ensure the species survival in the future.