It’s easy to turn a blind eye to the planet’s suffering when we’re not directly affected. But the choices we make today impact the Earth forever. 

Learn more about the consequences with the endangered species statistics below.

Hopefully, with enough information, more people will start making conscious choices for our planet.

Let’s explore the incredible variety of species and see what we can do to help.

Little Known Endangered Species Facts

  • Trophy hunting kills 200,000 animals a year.
  • Humans kill a rhino every 22 hours.
  • 1.6 billion people rely on rainforests for income.
  • Over 7,079 animals are critically endangered.
  • 90% of fish stocks are either depleted, overexploited, or fully exploited.
  • We are currently in the 6th mass extinction.
  • The IUCN red list increased by 17% between 2007 and 2019.

Endangered Species Statistics

Information is power and the only way we can make a difference. Here’s what you need to know about endangered species statistics:

1. Humans Are Responsible for 99% of the Endangered Species

(Source: World Animal Foundation)

  • Over 12% of bird species are under extreme threat and close to extinction.
  • 20% of mammals are nearly extinct. 
  • 97% of all species on Earth are invertebrates, including butterflies, worms, and mollusks. One-third of them are close to extinction.

Endangered species facts and statistics are a way to spread awareness. Since it takes years to know if a species is extinct, we have no idea how many animals we’ve lost. So, how many species are endangered? Here are some estimates. 

2. Animals Are Going Extinct Between 1000 to 10,000 Times Faster Than the Natural Rate

(Source: Tufts Now)

  • Extinction is a natural process in the wild. But the standard rate is about five species per year
  • The current extinction rate is over 12 species a day, which means we’re losing far more animals than ever recorded throughout history.
  • If we continue in the same way, 30%–50% of animals will be extinct within the next 30 years.

Are you starting to see the bigger picture? Simply put, we’re the largest cause of habitat and species devastation. 

statistics show there are only 350,000 elephants left in africa

Statistics of Endangered Species in Africa

Did you know that some of the most endangered species are in Africa? 

3. More Than 125,000 Animals Get Hunted as Trophies Every Year

(Source: World Animal Protection)

  • The estimation of US imported wildlife trophies between 2005 and 2014 is over 1.26 million
  • The most famous trophies are The Big 5 from Africa — the lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and water buffalo. Between 2008 and 2017, there were approximately 40,000 elephant trophies exported worldwide.
  • Over 50% of trophy hunters are from the US

No wonder certain species are struggling to stay alive. Take a look at the endangered species population statistics.

4. A Rhino Is Killed Every 22 Hours

(Source: Save the Rhino)

  • You’ll find statistics on rhino endangered species disturbing. Hunters kill these helpless animals for their horns. The crisis began in 2008 and peaked in 2015 when 1349 rhinos got killed in a single year. 
  • South Africa hosts most of the world rhino population, so it’s targeted the most, with an average of 1000 rhinos killed each year between 2013 and 2017.
  • Over the past ten years, close to 10,000 rhinos have been poached in Africa.

It all started with the false belief that the rhino horn has medicinal properties. Statistics of endangered species in Africa will keep getting worse. 

5. There Are Only 350,000 Elephants Left in Africa

(Source: Thompson Safari)

  • There were approximately 7.5 million African elephants in the 1930s — a staggering amount compared to today. Elephants are pregnant for around two years and only have a baby every three to six years, so reproduction has little chance of saving the species.
  • Lions’ natural habitat is also under the threat of humans. There are only 23,000 lions left, compared to the hundreds of thousands that roamed the savannah 100 years ago.
  • Endangered animal statistics show pangolins are the most trafficked mammals. This species is the only scaled mammal, and some falsely believe their scales have healing properties. 

So, what does this mean for you? Soon you’ll no longer have the opportunity to experience the beauty of these animals up close. 

Statistics of Endangered Species In the US

The US has some amazing creatures that are fast becoming critically endangered species.

6. There Are Only a Couple of Hundred Panthers Left in the Country

(Source: USA Today)

  • The Florida panther in the Everglades is a sight to see. Starting in the 1970s, it’s now one of many animals going extinct.
  • In the Southern Plains, the lesser prairie-chicken population has declined 97% due to loss of habitat. Once millions, there are only approximately 30,000 birds left. 
  • Only 400 North Atlantic right whales remain. Their biggest threat is entanglement in fishing lines and traps left on the ocean floor. 

The US is one of the most polluted countries, which adds to the number of wildlife endangerment.

7. Population Growth Has Nearly Eradicated the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

(Source: Center for Biological Diversity) 

  • Marine fish makes up 15% of our protein intake, but the enormous pressure on fisheries causes a massive collapse. 
  • Since the 1970s, the tuna has declined over 80%, leaving the Gulf of Mexico nearly barren.
  • In 2014, an Atlantic Bluefin Tuna sold for over $390,000.

The demand for specific fish can make a big difference. Avoid any fish on the red list. 

endangered species statistics show 80% of the African gorilla population is already extinct

Endangered Animals Habitats

Not only do we hunt and over-consume animals, but we’re also devastating millions of habitats in our ever-growing need for oil, gas, and timber. 

8. 1.6 Billion People Rely on Rainforests for Their Income

(Source: World Wild Life) 

  • Forests are necessary for human life, and not only for helping us breathe. We rely on them for work, home, and family life. Over 300 million people still live in forests.
  • 80% of the planet’s biodiversity comes from forests, including millions of animals, plants, fungi, and organisms we need to sustain human life. 
  • Imagine 27 soccer fields. That’s how much deforestation occurs every minute.

While we may be very focused on protecting animals, they still rely on their habitat for survival. Saving the natural environment is just as important.

9. Gorillas Are the Most Endangered Species in Rainforests Statistics

(Source: Owlcation)

  • 80% of the African gorilla population is already extinct. Thanks to massive conservation efforts, the number is declining, but there are approximately only 1000 gorillas left. 
  • We share 98% of our DNA with gorillas. Unfortunately, this genetic similarity means that viruses that hurt us affect them, too, even the common cold.
  • In 2010, the UN predicted all gorillas within the Congo could be extinct by the mid-2020s

What are we doing to help gorillas? Animal conservation facts show our countless efforts are dramatically assisting the population. Like the elephant, gorillas only reproduce once every four to six years, making it difficult for them to repopulate independently.

How Many Animals Are on the Endangered List?

Now that we know how great we are at destroying wildlife let’s look at the endangered species statistics for 2021.

10. 128,918 Species Are on the IUCN Red List

(Source: IUCN)

  • The International Union for Conservation and Nature (IUCN) Global Species Programme committed to evaluating the rate of animal extinction. They plan to assess 160,000 species.
  • 23% of mammals evaluated by the program are estimated as threatened and the number is quickly growing.   
  • Out of the over 11,000 evaluated bird species, 13% are threatened as of 2020.

The program offers in-depth endangered species statistics that allow us to see the impact of our actions on thousands of breeds. 

11. One in Every Four Mammals Is Endangered

(Source: Endangered Earth)

  • 800 species have been forced into extinction in 500 years because of our activity on the planet. 
  • In the last 400 years, 1% of the better-known animals have been eradicated
  • As of 2007, 70% of the plants assessed are at risk of extinction.

The Earth has never seen such unprecedented records of animal and plant extinction in such a short period. 

There are only 23,000 lions left, compared to the hundreds of thousands that roamed the savannah 100 years ago

Statistics on Endangered Species in Zoos

Zoos are a chance for many animals to rebuild in a safe and stabilized environment.

12. Aza-Accredited Facilities Care for Over 800,000 Species in 13 Countries

(Source: AZA)

  • The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has accredited 136 zoos. They ‘ve saved thousands of animals from endangered or threatened species. 
  • AZA facilities are 54% non-profit, 35% public, and 11% for-profit. The US alone has 217 accredited locations
  • AZA contributes over $7.7 million to conservation every year. They help endangered habitats by educating over 50 million people annually and supporting over 400 projects.

You might frown upon captive breeding, but it allowed thousands of animals to be reintroduced to the wild. Inbreeding is closely monitored.

13. Conservation Brought Back the Père David’s Deer From Extinction

(Source: Tree Hugger)

  • The number of Arabian oryx is drastically down. As of 2017, over 1000 of these animals have been released back into the wild to build their natural setting population.  
  • The golden lion tamarin is a beautifully colored primate native to Brazil. Sadly, logging and mining forced the species into extinction. The good news? Conservation efforts released hundreds back into the wild
  • The IUCN has prevented six critically endangered birds and 13 mammals from extinction.

Conservation is vital to the reintroduction of endangered species.

Other Types of Endangered Habitats

Habitats aren’t only on land. The ocean is also deteriorating quickly. We need to do what we can to avoid the extinction of thousands of sea creatures.

14. Fish Is the Main Source of Protein for Over a Billion People

(Source: World Wild Life)

  • Global warming, pollution, overfishing, and illegal developments are changing the planet in unprecedented ways. The ocean has absorbed over 93% of greenhouse gasses already, and that’s just one of the worrying climate change statistics.
  • Illegal fishing is a massive global issue worth over $36.4 billion each year. It’s depleting the ocean of whales, dolphins, turtles, and sharks. Vanishing species facts will keep rising if we don’t do anything to stop the problem.
  • The Vaquita is the world’s rarest mammal. There are approximately only ten left. Gillnets for illegal fishing have drowned the species to the point of extinction. 

Ocean habitat facts show us how much we’ve destroyed the ocean already. Sealife cannot sustain itself with the rising water temperatures, illegal fishing nets, and the trade itself. 

15. The Ocean Is Over 70% of the World’s Surface

(United Nations)

  • 90% of fish stocks are depleted, overexploited, or fully exploited. The rise in fish stocks and the billions of illegal dollars going into the industry are a massive issue. 
  • 80% of ocean pollution comes from plastic, chemicals, and oil. Humans are the main offender for endangering ocean habitats.
  • Gov statistics on endangered species predict a 100% rise in ocean acidity, affecting over half of our marine life.

Think about it, the plastic you use daily is making its way into the ocean. That bottle of water you throw into the trash could easily kill a loggerhead turtle — a species that has been on Earth for the last 100 million years. 

A Rhino Is Killed Every 22 Hours

Endangered Species Over Time Statistics

The numbers are on the rise. Let’s have a look at the future predictions.

16. The Red List Increased by 17% between 2007 and 2019

(Source: Statista)

  • Endangered insects rose by 164% in the same period. Most insects and smaller species don’t get reported because of their size. However, they have a massive impact on land and ocean habitats.
  • Technology is evolving rapidly, allowing us to get a clearer picture and make scientific predictions on how many animals are endangered. Unless we find a solution soon, we may lose ⅓ of all plant and animal species in the next 50 years
  • Endangered Molluscs rose by 130%. Some of these species include squid, worms, and snails.

We may not think about the smaller creatures, but they’re food and habitat creators for bigger animals. If insects and mollusks continue to deplete, entire ecosystems will collapse.

17. We Are Currently In the Sixth Mass Extinction

(Source: Earth.org)

  • More than 500 species are about to become extinct, and we might lose them forever in 20 years. Statistics communicating endangered species show there are about 515 species that have a population of less than 250. 
  • Land vertebrates are about to go extinct. Less than 1000 left include the Española giant tortoise and the Sumatran rhino. 94% out of the 77 recorded species have already lost 94% of their population.
  • Over 400 vertebrate species became extinct over the last century — an unprecedented number for any previous mass extinction. 

Scientists make clear that extinction causes extinction. If one area is uninhabitable, it creates a domino effect for all other species and environments. We’re past the tipping point to avoid this issue. 

How to Protect Endangered Animals

Are you wondering how you can help avoid wildlife endangerment? 

18. Knowledge Is Power When It Comes to Endangered Species 

(Source: Endangered.org)

  • Learn as much as you can about how many species are endangered in your area. Then, you can investigate how to help. Every small action matters and could make the difference between a habitat or species surviving. Remember the domino effect, educate those around you, and break the cycle.
  • Make your home a haven for wildlife. It can be as simple as building a birdhouse, cleaning your bird baths to stop the spread of infection, leaving out sugar water for bees, using as little water as possible, and keeping your pets indoors at night. Statistics on awareness of endangered species show that change is on the rise.
  • Restrain your dog. Did you know that dogs participated in the extinction of 11 species? Your furry pal is a potential threat to other animals, so it’s best to keep it under control with a wireless dog fence around your yard. Additionally, if you have a huge pet, get a large dog harness and always use it on walks to reduce the risk of an attack. 
  • Recycle. Our trash has a massive impact on biodiversity, particularly on the ocean. Five extra minutes to throw your trash out properly is not much to give up. 

By now, you should understand that we’re the biggest predator on Earth. 

To change that, let’s all make changes, no matter how small. 

Between 2008 and 2017, there were approximately 40,000 elephant trophies exported worldwide.
Over 50% of trophy hunters are from the US.

19. Hundreds of Charities and Projects Help Endangered Species

(Source: Oyster WorldWide)

  • Some dedicate their time, while others prefer donations to worthy causes that help worldwide conservation efforts. As mentioned above, the IUCN is dedicated to showing endangered wildlife facts that make a difference
  • Do you know the beautiful story of Jane Goodall, who has dedicated her life to saving chimpanzees? Her fantastic research and relationship with these animals inspire many to find out how they can save even one endangered animal. 
  • As a South African, the International Rhino Foundation is near and dear to my heart. The endangered animal info on rhinos is horrific and so are other poaching statistics. But the foundation, based in the US, is still making considerable breakthroughs in species survival in Africa.

These are just some of the organizations that make a difference. Do some research and find the ones that match your values and make you excited about donating your time or money. 

Wrap Up

In short, there are thousands of critically endangered species, and some are on the brink of extinction. At the same time, the main contributor to this issue is human behavior. 

Climate change is nearing catastrophic levels and could be the end to life on Earth as we know it. The only way we can prevent further damage and avoid losing 50% of our beautiful animals is to make a conscious decision and change how we live.

Learning how to make impactful changes is critical, so you can educate those around you and donate what you can.

We hope these endangered species statistics will help you make the best decisions for our planet. After all, we only have one, so we need to keep it healthy. 

  1. World Animal Foundation
  2. Tufts Now
  3. World Animal Protection
  4. Save the Rhino
  5. Thompson Safari
  6. USA Today
  7. Center for Biological Diversity
  8. World Wild Life
  9. Owlcation
  10.  IUCN
  11. Endangered Earth
  12. AZA
  13. Tree Hugger
  14. World Wild Life
  15. United Nations
  16. Statista 
  17. Earth.org
  18. Endangered.org
  19. Oyster WorldWide
  20. The Conversation

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Emma is a lover of all animals. Her cat Pumpkin enjoys stretching out in the office while mom researches the best information on how to care for their fellow furry friends. Emma’s passion for animals started at a young age. Back then, she dedicated her time to shelters and vet clinics in South Africa. Her enthusiasm for writing and research is behind the most reliable information for pet lovers. She believes in treating animals with the devotion and respect they deserve.