When we think of beautiful and rare animals, we tend to think of Pandas or Tigers. These animals are both rare and beautiful, but there are dozens of other species out there you may not have heard of that are endangered animals as well.
Here are the top ten most beautiful rare and endangered animals in the world. Some of them, you may never have heard of. Read on:
The Okapi looks like a strange and beautiful cross between a giraffe, and a zebra. This rare endangered animal is also known as the forest giraffe, Congolese giraffe, or zebra giraffe. They are artiodactyl mammal native to the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa.
These elegant animals are rare and beautiful which typically solitary and only come together to breed. Loss of habitat is the primary cause for the Okapi’s rarity. While we can’t be sure how many Okapi exist because of how shy they are, it is estimated that there are only 10,000-35,000 left in the wild.
The Saola, or “Asian Unicorn” is almost as hard to come by as a real unicorn. Discovered only in 1992, there are none in captivity, and an unknown number left in the wild. These beautiful and endangered animals look something like tiny antelopes but may be more closely related to cows. They are very shy and avoid humans, making conservation difficult.
3. Araripe Manakin
Araripe Manakins are stunningly beautiful birds which are rare to see. The male Araripe Manakins are snow white on their bodies, with black-tipped wings and a splash of crimson red on their heads. The females are olive green on the back, tapering to lighter green on their undersides.
There are less than 500 pairs of Araripe Manakin in the world today which put them in the endangered animal lists. At one point, as little as 50 couples were known to exist.
4. The Tortoise
With a name as ugly as the ploughshare tortoise, you would expect the beast to match. Instead, this fantastic tortoise is one of the most strikingly beautiful animals in the world. Its beauty is unfortunately also its downfall. The plougshare tortoise is incredibly rare and endangered animals because it has been hunted to near extinction for the beauty of its shell.
There are currently just 100 plowshare tortoises left in the whole world which make them very rare animals. Alarmingly, they are still in decline due to poaching, and because they can only be found in a small area of Madagascar.
5. Gooty Tarantula
This incredible blue spider look has an almost metallic sheen to it, which makes it both beautiful and unique animal. In the wild, Gooty Tarantula’s live in the trees, capturing prey using its venomous fangs. It is only found in the deciduous forests of Andhra Pradesh, India.
They are considered critically endangered animal because their home range is so small—just 100 square kilometers. Fortunately for the Gooty Tarantula, enthusiasts have been able to breed it successfully in captivity.
The Markhor is an incredibly beautiful goat native to Pakistan as well as a few other nearby countries. They are well known for their beautiful spiral horns. They also sport an unusual coat that is very long in the front and very short in the back. Markhor has long been hunted for their beautiful horns, which has contributed to their endangered animal species status.
Luckily their population is growing, and in a rare case of good conservation, they were able to be elevated from “Endangered” to “Near Threatened.” It is a beautiful step in the right direction for this beautiful goat.
This cute little salamander looks like something out of a cartoon, but it is a real and living being. Axolototl’s are native to Mexico and can be found in only one lake there. Development in the area has to lead to the Axolotl being very nearly extinct in the wild.
Conservation efforts are underway to preserve their natural habitat, but at their last census, only two Axolototl’s could be found. Fortunately, they are popular pets for aquarists and breed well in captivity, so the future of this endangered animal is still hopeful.
8. Bearded Vulture
When we think of vultures, the animal we see in our heads is usually anything but beautiful. The bearded vulture is an elegant animal and fair reflection of what vultures really could look like. The bearded vulture is incredibly beautiful with a feathered neck and a pretty golden color.
They are unique as a species because they are the only animal in the world that subsists almost entirely on the bone. However, this unique elegant anima is endangered because of habitat destruction. There are currently less than 10,000 pairs of bearded vultures in the wild, but proper conservation is helping to keep them from disappearing.
9. Amur Leopard
The Amur Leopard is a beautiful, agile, and fierce predator animal. It can leap huge distances, and consumes everything from typical prey like roe deer, to moose and small bears. They are also one of the rare animals in the world, with just 83 adults and 19 cubs in the last census.
If you are wondering why are amur leopards endangered? The main causes for their low population are habitat destruction from commercial logging and farming from 1970 to 1983 and illegal poaching for fur over the last 40 years.
Thanks to extreme conservation efforts, this is actually triple the original population. In a 2000 census, just 30 amur leopards were found.
10. Mouse lemur
These tiny lemurs became famous through the character of “Mort” from Madagascar. In fact, Mouse Lemurs can only be found on the island of Madagascar. This cute animal is endangered due to severe habitat destruction.
There are over 20 different species of mouse lemur, but they appear so similar to each other that they can only be distinguished through genetic analysis. Mouse Lemurs are so rare animal that the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature ) has declared them the most endangered species on the planet.
These rare and beautiful animals are disappearing rapidly, and some of them may become extinct within the decade. Luckily, there are many things you can do at home to help give endangered rare animals a fighting chance. It can be as easy as making your backyard wildlife-friendly so that endangered species local to you have a place they can live safely, or donating to a wildlife fund that works with the species you want to save.