Cutest Endangered Animals

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Cutest Endangered Animals

The sand cat (Felis margarita) has been listed as a ‘threatened species’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

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Cutest Endangered Animals
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Cutest Endangered Animals

The Fennec Fox, native to North Africa and the Middle East, isn’t currently considered an endangered spieces, but its territory is under threat from tourism and development. Its large ears help it hunt at night it can hear prey moving underground and keep cool by radiating the desert heat.

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Cutest Endangered Animals
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The Egyptian Tortoise (Testudo kleinmani), also known as Kleinman’s tortoise or Leith’s tortoise, is considered critically endangered by the IUCN. It is already believed to be extinct in Egypt, and thousands have been exported to the U.S. and other countries for breeding in captivity.

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Hunted for their pelts to near extinction, Sea Otter populations in the Pacific Northwest dwindled to less than 2,000 animals during the early part of the 20th century. Today, they are protected by law, and the species population has rebounded to 100,000 to 150,000.

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The axolotl is actually a species of salamander, although unlike some of its reptilian bretheren it is not amphibious, spending its entire life underwater. Closely related to the Tiger Salamander, the Axolotl is nearly extinct in the wild, with fewer than 1,200 animals remaining in the Xochimilco area of central Mexico, its last remaining unspoiled habitat.

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Native to Indonesia, the slow loris is being hunted into extinction, thanks to the supposedly medicinal and spiritual qualities of its flesh. But eager trappers had better watch out: the slow loris is also the world’s only venomous primate. It keeps its poison in a sac near the elbow, which it sucks out and reportedly swirls around in its mouth before delivering a dangerous bite.

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Cutest Endangered Animals

The pika is a small mammal related to the rabbit with rounded ears and no discernable tail. The American pika, according to the World Wildlife Fund, is particularly vulnerable to global warming because it lives in cool, relatively moist habitats found at high elevations environments that could shrink dramatically as the Earth heats up.

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Cutest Endangered Animals
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The Mandarin duck, a native to East Asia, is like the peacock in that the males of the species have dramatic plumage while the females are generally plainer. While development and large scale trapping have thinned their numbers, they’re still found across a wide swath of East Asia. According to the BBC, they are one of the few duck species that is not hunted or raised for food; apparently they taste awful.

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The U.S. government considers the Beluga, known by its distinctive head bulge and white color, to be endangered in their Alaska habitat. There are an estimated 100,000 of the animals left in the wild; because of their wide range of vocalizations, including clicks, chirps and whistles, the whales are sometimes known as ‘Canaries of the Sea’.

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Cutest Endangered Animals

The Gray Gentle Lemur is one of several species found exclusively in Madagascar, where it feeds on bamboo giving it its alternate name, the bamboo lemur.

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Cutest Endangered Animals
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The black footed ferret, a member of the weasel family, is considered endangered by the IUCN. In fact, the animals were declared extinct in 1979, although two years later a small population was discovered in Wyoming.

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These tree kangaroos are found only in the rainforests of Australia, West Papua and Papua New Guinea, at elevations of around 11,000 feet. They literally live in trees, jumping from branch to branch on powerful front and back limbs; because of their limited habitat the IUCN considers them to be endangered.

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One of just two species of monk seal left in the wild (a third, the carribean monk seal, is already extinct) there are only about 1,100 Hawaiian monk seals left in the wild. Hunted to the brink of extinction in the 19th century, they are now a protected species.

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The WWF fears that the Iberian lynx, native to Spain and Portugal, may be the first cat species to go extinct in more than 2,000 years. Thanks to human development and habitat loss, there are believed to be only 38 breeding females left in wild.

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China’s iconic giant panda is struggling to survive; while its numbers appear to be higher than once suspected, there are still believed to be no more than 3,000 left in the wild. Despite strenuous efforts, they also don’t breed very well in captivity; they are also susceptible to poaching in the wild. The panda has been the symbol of the World Wildlife Fund since 1961.

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