common estimate is that over half of the species of animals live in the
rain forests of the world. To say that many of these are threatened or
endangered would be an understatement, especially in light of the many
threats that rainforests as a whole face in the world today. These
threats are outlined in the
Crisis Overview section of Hope For The Rain
than attempt to list every known species of animal that is endangered
only some of the better known ones will be presented here. A great
resource on this subject is the
IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. This list is
the authority and contains over 15,500 species worldwide in every
habitat that face extinction, and grows daily.
in the 1960's and 70's now protect endangered species of animals.
Primary protection comes from the 1973
CITES Convention On International Trade In Endangered Wild Flora And
Fauna treaty, signed by over 120
Golden Lion Tamarind Monkeys: Shown above, the Golden Lion
Tamarind Monkey is one of the most endangered of all rainforest animals.
It is nearly extinct primarily because of its magnificent fur, which can
bring up to $20,000 on the black market. What few specimens are left are
found in the coastal lowland rainforests of Brazil.
and Parrots: Toucans are found in South and Central American
rainforests, and many of the 40 different species are threatened. Loss
of habitat, and capture for the commercial pet market are two major
threats. Parrots are found worldwide, and while many species are common,
a number are facing extinction.
Found in Mexican, South and Central American rainforests, the
jaguar is Near Threatened status. Hunting, one of the threats these
magnificent animals face, although prohibited in many countries, still
occurs in others.
Gorillas are found in West Central
Africa rainforests primarily in Zaire, Rwanda, and in the Congo River
Basin, and where ever they are found, they are threatened. Loss of
habitat, hunting for bushmeat and the Ebola Virus are some of the
threats the gorillas of Africa fade. For more information visit the
Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund website.
Found in Central and South America, the
colorful Poison Dart Frogs, of which there are many species, range from
Critically Endangered to Least Concern Depending on Species.
As their name implies, poison dart frogs can release
toxins from the skin that are distasteful and potentially lethal to
would-be predators. Three very toxic species of poison dart frogs from
Colombia and South America are utilized by Indians to poison the tips of
one of the gentlest and most beloved creatures on the planet, is
found in the warm waters of coastlines and rivers in rainforest regions
of Florida, the Caribbean, Africa, the Amazon Basin and parts of Asia.
Manatees are classified as Vulnerable by the ICUN, and their main
threats is loss of habitat through man's development. Liza's Reef has an
resource webpage on
manatees in the Hope For The Oceans section.
Tigers: The Bengal Tiger lives in the Sundarban regions of India, Bangladesh, China, Siberia and Indonesia,
and is extremely endangered. Today, only about 4,000 are left in the
wild whereas at the turn of the century in 1900 there were over 50,000.
Poaching and loss of habitat are the two major reasons for the decline
in numbers. An excellent resource is the website of the
Save The Tiger Fund.
Throughout Africa, destruction of
habitats, hunting and commercial trapping for the animal trade have all
put chimpanzees on the endangered animals list. One of the best
resources for information about chimpanzees is the Jane Goodall
Chimpanzee Central website.
Eagles: One of the largest and most
powerful of the fifty species of eagles in the world, the Harpy
Eagle lives in the tropical lowland rainforests of Central and South
America, from southern Mexico southward to eastern Bolivia, southern
Brazil and the northernmost parts of Argentina. Endangered, the major
threat to Harpy Eagles is loss of habitat from clear cutting,
destruction of nesting sites and hunting.
The Peregrine Fund has an excellent website about Harpy Eagles for
Orangutans live in the Southeastern
tropical rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo, and are on the ICUN
endangered list due to destruction and loss of habitat as well as
poaching and hunting for the wild animal trade. One of the best resource
website about Orangutans is that of the
Orangutan Foundation International.