The International Union for Conservation of Nature has put together a list of the top 100 most endangers species on Earth and the top 5 species that are not useful to humans in an age of economics rules all. The IUCN argues just because a species does not benefit humans does not mean it does not deserve to live.
Number 5 – Greater Bamboo Lemur; Population 100-160.
The tiny bamboo lemur—so-named because its powerful jaws can chew through tough bamboo—is found in Madagascar, the African island that is home to more endangered species per mile than any other country in the world. The bamboo lemur was actually believed to be extinct for nearly 50 years before it was rediscovered in 1972. But it’s revival may be temporary—the lemur’s rainforest habitat is being slashed and burnt for agriculture.
Number 4- Javan Rhino; Population less than 100.
Once found throughout southeast Asia, the Javan rhino is now on the brink of extinction, with only a small population left in the Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia. Though the species is legally protected, it is still poached for traditional Asian medicine, with its horn rumored to cure everything from impotence to cancer. (It does not.) The rhino is already extinct in Vietnam and is under severe pressure in Indonesia.
Number 3 – Liben Lark; Population 90-256.
The tiny Lark is only found in the plains of southern Ethiopia, and it could become Africa’s first recorded bird extinction. Its population dropped by 40% between 2007 and 2009, and thanks to habitat loss that’s chiefly due to agriculture expansion, the lark may not have long to live.
Number 2 – Red River Giant Softshell Turtle; Population 4.
That’s right. The gargantuan softshell turtle can weigh nearly 300 lbs., with a shell that’s nearly 40 in. long. Found in Vietnam and China, the turtle in Hoan Kiem Lake is fable to be the Golden Turtle God, also known as Kim Qui. But thanks to hunting and habitat destruction, the turtle has already been all but wiped out in the wild. There are now just four individuals remaining in the world—all of them in zoos.
Number 1 – Seychelles Sheath-Tailed Bat; Population less than 100.
The tiny Seychelles sheath-tailed bat gets its name from the thin membrane that stretches over its hind legs, enabling it to perform amazing acrobatics. But that agility hasn’t saved the bat from invasive species and habitat destruction. It’s already extinct on several islands in Seychelles—a tiny country in the Indian Ocean—and without immediate action, the bat will disappear altogether.
Explore Florida news here