We live in a vast, complex world, where new species are being discovered all the time. Yet even as these exciting creatures are being discovered, the increasing human population, climate change, habitat destruction, hunting and the over-exploitation of wildlife mean countless numbers of animals that will go extinct soon — within a child’s lifetime.
Scientists have estimated that over the course of Earth’s history, anywhere between 1 and 4 billion species have existed.
The natural extinction rate (aka background rate) describes how fast plants, mammals, birds and insects would die off if humans weren’t in the picture. It is estimated that today species are disappearing at almost 1,000 times the natural rate, meaning we’re losing around 150-200 species every single day.
Check out these 30 animals that will likely go extinct before today’s children grow up.
1. Amur Leopard
The Amur Leopard, for example, sits high on this list.
Status: Critically endangered. Less than 70 amur leopards are alive today. The population has severely decreased as the leopard is hunted for its fur, and its natural habitat destroyed by humans.
2. Siberian Tiger
Status: Critically endangered. Siberian tigers are the world’s largest cats, and there are only around 400 to 500 left in the wild today.