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Asia's most endangered species

With over 7,000 endangered species throughout Asia, ranging from Extinct to Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable, and Threatened to Least Concern there are more species to post about than we have pages, so we'll share a few of the most endangered here. (Note: Vulnerable, Endangered and Critically Endangered species are considered to be threatened with extinction.) The IUCN, or International Union for Conservation of Nature, publishes a Red List which is updated annually or semi-annually.

Javan Rhinoceros

Latin Name: Rhinoceros sondaicus

Location(s): Indonesia and Viet Nam Extinct in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Peninsular Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand

Description: Once the most widespread Asian rhinoceros, the Javan Rhino was hunted to near extinction in the 19th and 20th Centuries and currently exists in just two isolated areas. There are now less than 100 wild Javan Rhinos - about 40 to 60 on the western tip of the island of Java, and another smaller group in Cat Tien National Park in Viet Nam. The Viet Nam population is believed to contain as few as six animals, and no breeding has been observed in recent years according to IUCN.

Lar Gibbon

Latin Name: Hylobates lar

Location(s): Indonesian Sumatra, Laos, Peninsular Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand Possibly extinct in China

Description: Once plentiful in Southeast Asia, many gibbon species are currently endangered, including the Lar Gibbon. Even though the threat caused by deforestation is on the decline, these animals are still over-hunted for their meat. They are also captured in large numbers for the pet trade, even in protected areas.

Chinese Pangolin

Latin Name: Manis pentadactyla

Location(s): Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Hong Kong, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Taiwan, Thailand and Viet Nam

Description: Populations of all Asian Pangolins have suffered extreme losses in the recent past, and these losses are expected to continue over the coming years. They are hunted throughout Asia for export to China, mostly for medicinal purposes but also for their meat and skins. The pangolins were once hunted for subsistence use, but the exploding demand and high price for the animals has spurred illegal commercial hunting. Pangolins can fetch more than $95 U.S. per kilogram in the open market, so even in protected areas they are being relentlessly hunted.

Sumatran Tiger

Latin Name: Panthera tigris

Location(s): Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China , India, Indonesian Sumatra, Laos, Peninsular Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russian Federation, Thailand and Viet Nam Possibly extinct in North Korea Extinct in Afghanistan, Indonesia (Bali and Jawa), Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Singapore, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

Description: Multiple tiger subspecies once freely roamed throughout Asia, from Turkey in the west to the Russian coastline in the east. Over the last 100 years tigers have disappeared from 93% of their historic range. The current wild population of all tigers is endangered, with several subspecies considered critically endangered. The entire worldwide wild population is estimated at 3,000 to 5,000 individuals.


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