5. Borneo Pygmy Elephant
Native to northern Borneo, the Pygmy Elephant stands around half a meter shorter than its Asian neighbour. It would seem this missing height would account too for a lower level of wisdom for which Elephants are famous. This lack of brainpower may be to blame for the species diminishment as a result of overcrowding, or it could be the constantly expanding amount of manmade palm plantations eating into their habitat that’s acting as a catalyst for the issue.
4. Mekong Giant Catfish
It’s a tough break being a highly sought after species of animal. Being intriguing or breath-taking enough to be constantly pursued by humans in the name of sport can surely only be taken as a compliment up until a certain point. These amazing creatures can be found in the rivers of Southeast Asia, though it is estimated that just a few hundred remain as a result of overfishing. Even though they’re protected in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia- their decline continues- leading many to estimate they’ll be extinct before we know it.
3. Javan Rhinoceros
Numbered recently at fewer than 60, extinction is not only a very real prospect for this majestic mammal- but one that is closing in very quickly. Native to Indonesia and Vietnam, a combination of poachers killing the creature for its prized horn and developers constantly depleting its habitat in the name of good business means that the Javan Rhinos days are likely numbered.
2. Cross River Gorilla
This former king of the forest is now numbered at ‘fewer than 300’ in the jungles of Nigeria and Cameroon which it once called home. In an all too familiar series of events, consistent hunting for bush meat has combined with human interest influenced habitat depletion to bring this mighty species to its knees. Though it was believed the Cross River Gorilla was completely extinct in the 1980’s, more were discovered soon after and here’s hoping they can hold on and continue to flourish.
1. Sumatran Tiger
Classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2008, the Sumatran Tiger has been exclusively native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra for an estimated time of one million years. As the only surviving species from the Sunda Island big cats (including both the Bali tiger and the Javan tiger), the Sumatran tiger has been effected greatly by human development in the last century or so. Though a large proportion of the estimated 600 cats that remain live in protected captivity, it is believed around 1/5 remain in the dangers of the wild.