Endangered Rain Forest Animals

Endangered Rain Forest Animals           Endangered Rain Forest Plants

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A 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 Forests.

Rather 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. 

Regulations instituted 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 countries.

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.

Toucans 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.

Jaguars: 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: 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.

Poison Dart Frogs: 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 blowgun darts.

Manatees: Manatees, 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.

Bengal 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.

Chimpanzees: 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 Institute Chimpanzee Central website.

Harpy 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 more information.

Orangutans: 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.