The Endangered Species List Grows Shorter

10 Animals and Their New Statuses

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has a list of endangered species as well as ways for people to help save endangered species through the WWF website by adopting an animal or donating.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has a list of endangered species as well as ways for people to help save endangered species through the WWF website by adopting an animal or donating.

Animals, both domesticated and non-domesticated, bring a special warmth to people’s hearts and brighten their day. In a world where violence, war, and terrorism seem to be in the news every day, the future begins to appear bleak.

That said, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has updated their endangered species list once more and brings a ray of sunshine over the world as these 10 animals have been either removed or their status has been updated on the endangered species’ list.


  • The Giant Panda

As of September 2016, the poster boy for the WWF is no longer endangered of going extinct. In 1961, the WWF first picked the panda as their official logo when the species were close to extinction. Decades later, the panda has 67 reserves in China that protect 14,000 square kilometers of their natural habitat. Thanks to this tremendous effort, panda populations have steadily risen from 1,500 living in the wild by 2004 to over 2,000 today. While no longer close to extinction, the Giant Panda is still listed as vulnerable.

  • Chatham Petrel

Located in New Zealand, this unheard of bird (in terms of the United States) is native to the Chatham Islands and cannot be found on any other parts of the Earth. The main problem with this is due to the broad billed prion, which is another bird who has taken up a majority of the Chatham Petrel’s natural habitat and food source. In 1995, the Chatham Petrel’s population in the wild was a mere 600. Fortunately, New Zealand conservationists scooped up the remaining petrel’s to a new island where the prions were out of site and left them there to repopulate themselves. As of 2015, the petrel’s status has been downgraded to simply vulnerable.

  • The Louisiana Black Bear

The state animal for La., the black bear is a unique subspecies and gave early stuffed animals a template to go by as well as the term “teddy bear.” The term was coined after an incident involving President Theodore Roosevelt in 1902 when he refused to shoot an injured and captured black bear. A cartoonist from the Washington Post drew an image of the former president refusing to shoot an adorable, fluffy creature. In 1992, the La. bear was nearly extinct with only 150 living in the wild, but thanks to two decades of conservation efforts, the population now hovers at 700.

  • Delmarva Peninsula Fox Squirrel

After the Endangered Species Preservation Act was passed in 1967 by the federal government, the very top of the list consisted of the Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel. The gray squirrel was on the brink of extinction due to intense logging and overhunting, and preserving the little creature was difficult since most of its habitat was on private land that spread across three different states (Maryland, Delaware and Virginia). Five decades later, the fox squirrels have gone from a measly 10 percent to over 20,000 and continues to expand.

  • Steller Sea Lion

Located on the western coast of Ala., the Steller Sea Lion is a huge beast with a large mess of blubber and fur. They can range down as far as central Calif., which is quite impressive since that is a long way from Alaska. In 1990, however, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that the sea lion was about to go extinct after repeated environmental disasters, hunting and crashes with trawler ships over the span of centuries. Luckily, in 1979, a population of 18,000 Steller Sea Lions remained that grew at least 4 percent per year, and the sea lions are now over 70,000 living in the wild as of 2010.

  • Arabian Oryx

The Arabian Oryx is actually known for being the only animal to go extinct when, in 1972, a hunter took his rifle and shot the last one that remained in the wild. The species population may had dwindled, but rich princes in Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well as Abu Dhabi had taken a handful of the beasts into their royal collections. In 1982, a special reserve was created to encourage breeding for the Arabian Oryx, and as of today, there are over 1,000 oryx living in the wild.

  • Lake Erie Water Snake

In 1999, the water snake was considered so endangered that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed it as on the brink of extinction. The population rebounded enough that it was removed from the list altogether in 2011.

  • Gray Wolf

A proud and noble creature in North America, the gray wolf roams across the forests in the U.S. Hunting nearly led to their extinction in the 1970s and for the next 35 years, the gray wolf would remain on the endangered list until 2011 after 5,500 wolves surged to life in the U.S. forests.

  • Brown Pelican

The mid-20th Century nearly brought the brown pelicans’ relatives to near extinction as pesticides became more common in the United States. Farmers and government workers began spraying a chemical called DDT on just about everything that moved, which nearly destroyed the brown pelicans as their food source was contaminated with poison. This affected the pelicans’ eggs and their health as many died after getting sick from eating poisoned fish. By the mid-1970s, the DDT became taboo and eventually banned in the U.S. altogether, thus allowing the brown pelicans to be removed from the endangered list in 2009.

  • Indian Rhino

Rhinos have always been hunted for their precious horns to create ivory carvings, making the Indian rhino, which is native to the northern subcontinent near Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Bhutan. Their population numbers reached to millions until the early 20th Century when big game hunters started to see them as trophies. Within 70 years, the population had been reduced to 600. By 1975, the rhino was extinct in Bangladesh and Bhutan, and heading in the same direction in India. Habitat protection and anti-hunting laws were raised with heavy penalties for poachers caught bagging a rhino. In 2008, the population increased to 3,000 and gave hope that the Indian rhino will slowly make its way back to its staggering population count.

To find out more about the WWF’s efforts to conserve natural habitats for endangered species, or other ways you can do your part to help, visit:  World Wildlife Fund’s website.

World Wildlife Fund