Top 100 endangered species we don’t exploit

A new list of the 100 species most likely to become extinct soon is the result of many years work by 8000 scientists. Sadly, the list is filled with flora and fauna that humans apparently have no use for. Will we save them or do we as a species only really care about those organisms that we exploit for our own ends? You can read the “Priceless or Worthless?” report here complete with stunning photographs of many of the seriously endangered species discussed.

According to Jonathan Baillie Director of Conservation at the Zoological Society of London, one of those 8000 international collaborating scientists:

“The donor community and conservation movement are leaning increasingly towards a ‘what can nature do for us’ approach, where species and wild habitats are valued and prioritised according to the services they provide for people. This has made it increasingly difficult for conservationists to protect the most threatened species on the planet,” he says. “While the utilitarian value of nature is important conservation goes beyond this. Do these species have a right to survive or do we have a right to drive them to extinction?”

The top 100 list was revealed for the first time at the World Conservation Congress in South Korea, a meeting of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Photo features Brachyteles hypoxanthus Photo by Andrew Young.

Scientific NameCommon NameCategoryPopulationThreats to Survival
Abies beshanzuensisBaishan FirConifer5 mature individualsAgricultural expansion and fire
Actinote zikanibutterflyUnknown, one population remainingHabitat degradation due to pressure from human populations
Aipysurus foliosquamaLeaf scaled sea-snakesea-snakeUnknown, two subpopulations remainUnknown – likely degradation of coral reef habitat
Amanipodagrion gilliesiAmani Flatwingbutterfly<500 individuals est.Habitat degradation due to increasing population pressure and water pollution
Antilophia bokermanniAraripe Manakinbird779 individuals (est 2010)Habitat destruction due to expansion of agriculture and recreational facilities and water diversion
Antisolabis seychellensisSeychelles earwigearwigUnknown (declining)Invasive species and climate change
Aphanius transgrediensfreshwater fishUnknown (declining)Competition and predation by Gambusia and road construction
Aproteles bulmeraeBulmer’s Fruit Batbat150 individuals (est)Hunting and cave disturbance
Ardea insignisWhite bellied heronbird70-400 individualsHabitat destruction and degradation due to hydropower development
Ardeotis nigricepsGreat Indian Bustardbird50 -249 mature individualsHabitat loss and modification due to agricultural development
Astrochelys yniphoraPloughshare tortoise / angonokatortoise440-770Illegal collection for international pet trade
Atelopus baliosRio pescado stubfoot toadtoadUnknown (declining)Chytridiomycosis and habitat destruction due to logging and agricultural expansion
Aythya innotataMadagascar Pochardbirdapproximately 20 mature individualsHabitat degradation due to slash-and-burn agriculture, hunting, and fishing / introduced fish
Azurina eupalamaGalapagos damsel fishpelagic fishUnknown (declining)Climate Change – oceanographic changes associated with the 1982 / 1983 El Nino are presumed to be responsible for the apparent disappearance of this species from the Galapagos
Bahaba taipingensisGiant yellow croakerpelagic fishUnknown (declining)Over-fishing, primarily due to value of swim-bladder for traditional medicine – cost per kilogram exceeded that of gold in 2001
Batagur baskaCommon Batagur/ Four-toed terrapinturtleUnknown (declining)Illegal export and trade from Indonesia to China
Bazzania bhutanicaliverwortUnknown (declining)Habitat degradation and destruction due to forest clearance, overgrazing and development
Beatragus hunteriHirolaantelope< 1000 individualsHabitat loss and degradation, competition with livestock, poaching
Bombus frankliniFranklin’s Bumble BeebeeUnknown (declining)Disease from commercially bred bumblebees and habitat destruction and degradation
Brachyteles hypoxanthusNorthern muriquiprimate< 1,000 individualsHabitat loss and fragmentation due to large-scale deforestation and selective logging
Bradypus pygmaeusPygmy slothsloth<500 individualsHabitat loss due to illegal logging of mangrove forests for firewood and construction and hunting of the sloths
Callitriche pulchrafreshwater plantUnknown (declining)Exploitation of the species’ habitat by stock, and modification of the pool by local people
Calumma tarzanTarzan’s chameleonchameleonUnknownHabitat destruction for agriculture
Cavia intermediaSanta Catarina’s guinea pigguinea pig40-60 individualsHabitat disturbance and possible hunting; small population effects
Cercopithecus rolowayRoloway GuenonprimateUnknownhunting for consumption as bushmeat, and habitat loss
Coleura seychellensisSeychelles sheath-tailed batbat<100 mature individuals (est 2008)Habitat degradation and predation by invasive species
Cryptomyces maximusfungusUnknown (declining)Limited availability of habitat
Cryptotis nelsoniNelson’s small-eared shrewshrewUnknown (declining)habitat loss due to logging cattle grazing, fire and agriculture
Cyclura colleiJamaican iguanaiguanaUnknown (declining)Predation by introduced species and habitat destruction
Dendrophylax fawcettiiCayman islands ghost orchidorchidUnknown (declining)Habitat destruction due to infrastructure development
Dicerorhinus sumatrensisSumatran rhinorhino<250 individualsHunting for horn -used in traditional medicine
Diomedea amsterdamensisAmsterdam Island albatrossbird100 mature individualsDisease and incidental capture in long-line fishing operations
Diospyros katendeitree20 individuals, one populationHigh pressure from communities for agricultural activity, illegal tree felling, habitat degradation due to alluvial gold digging and small population
Dipterocarpus lamellatusdipterocarp (tree)12 individualsHabitat loss and degradation due to logging of lowland forest and creation of industrial plantations
Discoglossus nigriventerHula painted frogfrogUnknown (recent rediscovery in 2011)Predation by birds and range restriction due to habitat destruction
Discorea strydomianaWild Yamyam200 individualsCollection for medicinal use
Dombeya mauritianaflowering plantUnknown (declining)Habitat degradation and destruction due to encroachment by alien invasive plant species and cannabis cultivation
Elaeocarpus bojeriflowering plant<10 individualsSmall population and degraded habitat
Eleutherodactylus glanduliferLa Hotte Glanded FrogfrogUnknown (declining)Habitat destruction due to charcoal production and slash-and-burn agriculture
Eleutherodactylus thorectesMacaya Breast-spot frogfrogUnknownHabitat destruction due to charcoal production and slash-and-burn agriculture
Eriosyce chilensisChilenitocactus<500 individualsCollection of flowering individuals
Erythrina schliebeniicoral treeflowering tree< 50 individualsLimited habitat and small population size increasing vulnerability to stochastic events
Euphorbia tanaensissemi-deciduous tree4 mature individualsIllegal logging and habitat degradation due to agricultural expansion and infrastructure development
Eurynorhynchus pygmeusSpoon-billed sandpiperbird< 100 breeding pairsTrapping on wintering grounds and land reclamation.
Ficus katendeitree (ficus)< 50 mature individualsAgricultural activity, illegal tree felling and habitat degradation due to alluvial gold digging
Geronticus eremitaNorthern Bald Ibisbird200-249 mature individualsHabitat degradation and destruction, and hunting
Gigasiphon macrosiphonflowering tree33 mature individualsTimber extraction and habitat degradation due to agricultural encroachment and development, seed predation by wild pigs
Gocea ohridanamolluscUnknown (declining)Habitat degradation due to increasing pollution levels, off-take of water and sedimentation events
Heleophryne roseiTable Mountain ghost frogfrogUnknown (declining)Habitat degradation due to invasive plants and water abstraction
Hemicycla paetelianamolluscUnknown (declining)Habitat destruction due to overgrazing and trampling by goats and tourists
Heteromirafra sidamoensisLiben Larkbird90- 256 individualsHabitat loss and degradation due to agricultural expansion, over-grazing and fire suppression
Hibiscadelphus woodiihibiscusUnknownHabitat degradation due to feral ungulates and invasive introduced plant species
Hucho perryi (Parahucho perryi)Sakhalin taimensalmonidUnknown (declining)Overfishing (sport fishing and commercial bycatch) and habitat loss from damming, agriculture and other land use practices.
Johora singaporensisSingapore Freshwater CrabcrabUnknownHabitat degradation – reduction in water quality and quantity
Lathyrus belinensissweet-pea<1,000 (2010 est)Habitat destruction due to urbanisation, over-grazing, conifer planting and road widening
Leiopelma archeyiArchey’s frogfrogunknown but decliningChytridiomycosis and predation by invasive species
Lithobates sevosusDusky gopher frogfrog60-100 individuals (est 2003)Fungal disease and habitat limitation due to climate change and land-use changes
Lophura edwardsiEdward’s pheasantbirdUnknownHunting and habitat loss
Magnolia wolfiimagnoliaUnknown (declining)Isolation of species and low regeneration rates
Margaritifera marocanamussel<250 individuals (2010 est)Habitat degradation and disturbance due to pollution and development
Moominia williimollusc< 500 individuals Invasive species and climate change
Natalus primusCuban greater funnel eared batbat<100 individuals (est 2005)Habitat loss and human disturbance
Nepenthes attenboroughiiAttenborough’s Pitcher Plantcarnivorous plantUnknownPoaching
Neurergus kaiseriLuristan newtnewt<1000 mature individualsIllegal collection for pet trade
Nomascus hainanusHainan Gibbonprimate< 20 individualsHunting
Oreocnemis phoenixMulanje Red DamselbutterflyUnknown (declining)Habitat destruction and degradation due to drainage, agricultural expansion and exploitation of forest
Pangasius sanitwongseiPangasid catfishfreshwater fishUnknown (declining)Overfishing and collection for aquarium trade
Parides burchellanus butterfly< 100 individualsHabitat degrdation due to pressure from human populations and range restriction
Phocoena sinusVaquitaporpoise<200 individuals and decliningIncidental capture in gillnets
Picea neoveitchiiconiferUnknown (declining)Forest destruction
Pinus squamataQiaojia PineConifer< 25 mature individualsLimited distribution and small population size
Poecilotheria metallicaPeacock Parachute SpiderspiderHabitat loss and degradation as a result of deforestation, firewood collection and civil unrest
Pomarea whitneyiFatuhiva monarchbutterfly50 individualsPredation by introduced species – Rattus rattus and feral cats
Pristis pristisCommon SawfishsawfishUnknown (declining)Exploitation – has removed the species from 95% of its historical range
Prolemur simusGreater bamboo lemurprimate100-160 individualsHabitat destruction due to slash-and-burn agriculture, mining and illegal logging
Propithecus candidusSilky Sifakaprimate100 -1,000 individualsHunting and habitat disturbance
Psammobates geometricusGeometric tortoisetortoiseUnknownHabitat destruction and degradation, and predation
Pseudoryx nghetinhensisSaolasaola (bovid affinities)UnknownHunting and habitat destruction
Psiadia cataractaeflowering plantUnknownHabitat degradation and destruction due to development project and alien invasive plant species
Psorodonotus ebneriBeydaglari Bush-cricketcricketUnknownClimate change, habitat loss
Rafetus swinhoeiRed River giant softshell turtleturtle4 known individualsHunting for consumption and habitat destruction and degradation as a result of wetland destruction and pollution
Rhinoceros sondaicusJavan rhinorhino< 100 individualsHunting for traditional medicine and small population size
Rhinopithecus avunculusTonkin snub-nosed monkeyprimate< 200 individualsHhabitat loss and hunting. Known from only a few records in small area of habitat ( less than 10 square km),
Rhizanthella gardneriWest Australian underground Orchidorchid< 100 individualsLand clearance for agriculture (96% habitat cleared to date), climate change and salinisation
Rhynchocyon spp.Boni Giant SengisengiUnknown (declining)Highly restricted habitat and distribution, security issues, oil development in area with associated increase in human population in area
Risiocnemis seidenschwarziCebu frill-wingdamsel-flyUnknown (declining)Habitat degradation and destruction.
Rosa arabicaflowering treeUnknown (declining)Domestic animals grazing, climate change and drought, medicinal plant collection and restricted range
Salanoia durrelliDurrell’s Vontsiravontsira (small carnivore)Unknown (declining)Habitat loss
Santamartamys rufodorsalisRed-crested tree ratratUnknownHabitat loss through urban development and coffee cultivation
Scaturiginichthys vermeilipinnisRed-finned blue eyefreshwater fish2,000 – 4,000 individualsPredation by introduced species
Squatina squatinaAngel sharksharkUnknown (declining)Benthic trawling
Sterna bernsteiniChinese crested ternbird< 50 mature individualsEgg collection and habitat destruction
Syngnathus watermeyeriEstuarine Pipefish (River Pipefish)pipefishUnknown (declining)Construction of dams altering river flows and flood events into estuaries
Tahina spectabilisSuicide Palmpalm90 individualsHabitat loss due to fires, logging and agricultural developments
Telmatobufo bullockiBullock’s false toadtoadunknownHabita destruction as a result of energy development
Tokudaia muenninkiOkinawa Spiny Ratratunknown (declining)Habitat loss and predation by feral cats
Trigonostigma somphongsiSomphongs’s rasborafreshwater fishUnknown (declining)Habitat loss and degradation from farmland conversion and urbanization
Valencia letourneuxifreshwater fishUnknown (declining)Habitat destruction, water abstraction and agressive interaction with Gambusia
Voanioala gerardiiForest Coconutpalm< 10 individualsHarvesting for consumption of palm heart and deforestation
Zaglossus attenboroughiAttenborough’s EchidnaechidnaUnknownHabitat modification and degradation due to logging, agricultural encroachment shifting cultivation and hunting by local people

(Table formating thanks to http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/threatened-species100.html I now have the original spreadsheet of this data from ZSL)