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The African continent is known for its varied and diverse wildlife.
Whether you are a wildlife enthusiast or a scientist, Africa is home to numerous reserves and parks where you can enjoy breathtaking safaris. However, this may change in the near future.
Even though the average person appreciates and is willing to protect their natural environment, the sad reality is that humans are still to blame when it comes to the dwindling African wildlife population. Pollution, poaching, poisoning, and other destructive human behavior have led to the extinction of hundreds of species.
African Wildlife Animals You Didn’t Know Were Endangered
Here is a list of some of the most endangered African wildlife animals:
1. Northern White Rhinos
There is no better example of an African endangered animal than the northern white rhino. With only seven left in the world, they are basically on the brink of extinction – all because of poaching.
In fact, it is estimated that in the next few years they’ll be totally wiped out – unless a new stock of northern white rhinos is discovered elsewhere.
These critically endangered species are currently found in Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya (under 24-hours armed surveillance).
2. The African Elephant
There are so many African wildlife books on the African elephants, but few explain their risk of extinction.
Today, there are only two surviving subspecies of these elephants – the African bush elephant and the African forest elephant.
Over the years, the population of these huge mammals has rapidly declined due to increased poaching for their tusks. In the 1970s, African elephants had a total population of about 300,000. But now they are less than 10,000.
To make matters worse, President Trump’s administration is preparing to reverse a ban on the importation of elephant trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe to the United States. Unless something is done (and fast), the African elephants are soon facing extinction.
3. Mountain Gorillas
This subspecies of eastern gorillas are known to be the rarest primates in the world. Today, the number of these endangered apes has dwindled down to less than 800. This can be hugely attributed to habitat loss, diseases, and human conflict.
Some of the best places to see the African mountain gorilla include the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda and the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
4. Grevy’s Zebras
Despite its large sturdy physique and ability to run for over one hour, the Grevy’s zebra has been endangered since the 1980s.
As at 2008, it was estimated that there were only 750 mature zebras in the whole world. This number has continuously dropped ever since.
The main threats to Grevy’s zebras have been habitat degradation, reduced water sources, overgrazing, hunting, and diseases.
Kenya is home to the remaining Grevy’s zebra. You can find them at the Tsavo National Park and Samburu Park.
This sturdy nocturnal antelope is capable of surviving the harsh conditions of the Sahara deserts, but not extinction. They are majorly found in the northeastern part of Niger and Northern Chad.
Today, there are less than 300 addaxes left in their natural habitat, with hunting being the main reason for their declined population.
6. Rothschild’s Giraffe
There are only 670 of these magnificent land mammal left in the wild today. Their main threats are poaching, hunting, population segregation, and loss of habitat.
The Rothschild’s giraffe can easily be located in Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya.
7. Ethiopian Wolf
Also known as the Simien fox, the Ethiopian wolf is the rarest wolf species in the world and the most endangered carnivores in Africa.
It is currently listed as a critically endangered African wildlife animal with an estimated population of 500. The main reason for its extinction is the loss of its Afro-Alpine habitats with the spread of commercial farming.
You can come across the Ethiopian wolves at the Simien Mountains National Park and the general Ethiopian Highlands.
8. Black Rhino
The black rhino’s numbers have been dropping at a rapid rate year after year.
Today, there are less than 5,000 black rhinos left in the wild. Illegal poaching and hunting are some of the main reasons for their declining population.
They can be found in South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Malawi, and Botswana.
9. African Lions
And the last endangered African wildlife animal on the list is the African lion.
Did you know that there are less than 2,000 lions left in Kenya – the cradle of African wildlife?
For anyone visiting African game reserves and parks, the thrill is to see the king of the jungle. But the lion’s existence is now threatened by the destruction of its habitat.
Even though they are not critically endangered right now, they will be in the next few years if no corrective measures are taken.
You Too Can Save the Endangered African Wildlife
Today, poaching of wild animals in Africa is on the rise. The rate at which we are losing these precious gems is just mind-boggling.
Fortunately, there are a number of wildlife and conservationists groups that have been established to try and stop this barbaric practice. You too can save the African animals by joining reputable African wildlife trusts.
The African wild needs you!