The World Wildlife Fund estimates that we lose around 10,000 different species every year.
As frightening as that is, this is a conservative estimate, with some experts believing it could be as high as 100,000 a year depending on how many species there actually are on the planet.
The main reason for this sensational loss is due to us. Humans. What we call rainforests, tropical forests, and temperate forests, is home to these species. Each forest that is chopped down for its wood and agricultural land destroys a home and eradicates a species to extinction.
Here are 5 of the world's most endangered animals today.
When you think of leopards the Savannas of Africa come to mind but the Amur Leopard is actually a rare species who live in far East Russia.
This solitary nimble-footed animal is incredibly strong and similar to other leopards with speeds of up to 37 miles per hour and can even jump 19 feet horizontally and up to 10 feet vertically!
Unfortunately, they are hunted and killed for their beautiful spotted fur and as a result, it is estimated that only around 84 remains! Thankfully in 2012, they received a safe haven when the Russian government declared a protected area extending to 650,000 acres which is hoped will increase their numbers.
Cross River Gorilla
Sadly there are only 200-300 cross river gorillas left in the world today. They are a subspecies of the Western gorilla and quite similar in appearance and are scattered across the lowland forests of Cameroon and Nigeria.
Clearing forests for timber and agricultural land, as well as poaching, has decimated this species but now a protected area has been put in place between Cameroon and Nigeria that is hoped will revive this species once more.
The Saola (Pronounced; Sow la) was only discovered in Vietnam in 1992! It is quite similar in appearance to the antelope and has two parallel horns with striking white marks on its face.
It is known as the “Asian Unicorn” and can only be found in the mountains of Laos and Vietnam. None exist in captivity and this critically endangered species has only been found 4 times to date. If they still exist today, their numbers would be startling low.
This subspecies was once found across the whole of Indonesia but today can only be found in Sumatra as all the tigers in Java and Bali are extinct. It is believed that there are fewer than 400 remaining in the wild as deforestation and rampant poaching destroy this beautiful tiger species.
Javan Rhinos are the most threatened of the five rhino species with only approximately 60 left, all of which live in Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia. This species is a dusky grey colour with a single horn up to 10 inches long and is similar in appearance to the one-horned rhino.
The Hemp Solution
The destruction of forests is primarily for two commodities; wood products, and land to grow animals. Hemp grows much faster than trees (3 months v 30 years) and can provide 4 times the amount of paper (and other products) than you would get from trees.
In terms of animals reared for protein foods. Hemp seed oil is one of the best-known sources of protein on the planet (30% of content) and it is super nutritious containing insoluble fibre, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and the greatest ratio of essential fatty acids omega 3 and 6.
By switching to hemp seed foods and hemp products, even for one day a week, we reduce the demand for meat and forest derived paper which will help stop deforestation and in turn help stop these critically vulnerable species from going extinct.