31 Animals That Will Go Extinct Before Your Children Grow Up

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

Photo: YouTube

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

Photo: YouTube

Status: Critically endangered. Siberian tigers are the world’s largest cats, and there are only around 400 to 500 left in the wild today. 

3. Snow Leopard 

Photo: andyworks, iStockStatus: Vulnerable. Humans are the sole predators of humans, from hunting to habitat loss, we are threatening their population numbers. 

From far-off ferocious felines, here are some creatures not far from us…

4. Western Gorilla/Cross River Gorilla 

Photo: YouTube

Status: Critically Endangered. Extremely high levels of poaching and hunting have dwindled the population. By 2046, experts believe the Western Gorilla population will be reduced by more than 80 percent. There are two different main gorilla species with their own sub-species. One of the subspecies of Western Gorillas is the Cross River Gorilla — both are labeled as critically endangered. 

5. Sumatran Orangutan

Photo: YouTube

 Status: Critically endangered. The population of Sumatran Orangutans have declined more than 80 percent in the last 75 years. 

6. Chimpanzees

Photo: andyworks, iStock

Status: Endangered. Chimpanzees are human’s closest cousins, sharing 98% of our genes. Unfortunately, they have already gone extinct in four countries and are facing population drops everywhere they inhabit. 

7. Black Spider Monkey

Photo: webguzs, iStock

Status: Vulnerable. Also known as the red-faced spider monkey, severe deforestation and hunting has challenged the species’ survival. 

It’s not just small animals. Massive warrior animals are on the list as well…

8. Sumatran Elephant 

Photo: Lethekings, iStock

Status: Critically endangered. Just in the past 25 years, the Sumatran Elephant has lost 70% of its habit. As of 2011, the Sumatran Elephant has an estimated population of less than 2000.