Extinction: These Animals Could Be Wiped Out In 2017

First Posted: Jan 05, 2017 03:06 AM EST

While humans have become afraid that cheetahs are about to go extinct, another report from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) warns that the population of wild animals on Earth is predicted to fall by two-thirds within the next few years.

The Telegraph reported that there is an urgent concern for the survival of wild species on the planet. As shown in the study conducted by the ZSL and WWF, the number of wild animals have declined by 58 percent from 1970 to 2012. Worse, the decrease in animal populations is even expected to reach 67 percent by 2020.

While some animals could still make it through 2017, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (UCN) released its "red list" of endangered species featuring 82,954 plants and animals with more than 30 percent of them racing towards extinction.

Among these threatened species include the northern white rhino with only three of them left on the entire planet. There were about 2,000 recorded northern rhinos in 1960 but the huge demand for rhino horn in the Far East triggered poachers to hunt these beasts for sale. One male, 43-year-old Sudan, and two females are currently under a 24-hour guard in Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, but attempts to breed the species have failed.

Giant tusked bull elephants are also endangered by ivory poachers with only 21 of them left in the African wild. Also on the red list are four out of the six species of great apes: the Bornean orangutan, Sumatran orangutan, the eastern gorilla and western gorilla.

"If we have nature in one place and people in another that is a recipe for disaster," said lead author of the ZSL study Dr. Sarah Durant from Serengeti. "People do cause problems for wildlife but they can also be part of the solution."

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