photo by Dan Crosbie of Canadian Ice Service
May 16th is Endangered Species Day, created by a resolution introduced by Maine Senator Susan Collins and California Senator Dianne Feinstein. Treehugger chose some of our favorite threatened, endangered, and extinct species. Of course, a few of the cutest endangered animals are also the most well known, like the giant panda (my sister commented that her kid's photos aren't as cute as these) and the, possibly even cuter, red panda. The polar bear officialy joined the threatened list yesterday.
But let's also remember the Guatemalan Black Howler, the hairy-eared dwarf lemur, and the possibly extinct Duck-billed Buntingi. Or how about the sadly named Neglected Frog, or the pygymy three-toed sloth? You may never have heard of it, but the hirola is a beautiful animal. Also the golden bamboo lemur is as cute an endangered species as they come. And who would want to live in a world without a white-whiskered spider monkey?
My personal favorite animal is the wombat. And I am sad to say that, though the common wombat is doing ok, the northern hairy-nosed wombat and the southern hairy-nosed wombat, aren't doing that great.
If you're more of a lover of the bigger, leatherier type of animal, you might be especially concerned about the fact that both the Indian rhino and the Indian elephant are endangered. Still leathery, but smaller, the endangered sea turtle is an ancient reptile that has survived for the last 100 million years, but now, because of us, is facing extinction.
But wait! Endangered species day is also about endangered plants. Such as the four-petal pawpaw, the fragrant prickly-apple,the Beautiful Goetzea, the swamp pink, and the running buffalo clover. And of course, we here at TH are especially concerned about how much longer we will be able to hug the African Blackwood, the Honduras rosewood, the Hawaiian Loulu Palm, Chile's Monkey Puzzle tree, in Saudi Arabia, the Nubian Dragon Tree.
As for the species we have already lost: if you want to get lugubrious today, you might consider the rabbit-like Sardinian pika or the Algerian red gazelle. The Javan tiger became extinct in the '80's due to huntng and loss of its habitat. The Falkland Island fox was a gorgeous animal which was commemmorated by Darwin in The Voyage of the Beagle. The sea mink's attractiveness was it's downfall, we wanted its fur for coats, and so it is no longer. The Quagga had both a super cool name and an arresting look.
Any other most missed species we should raise our glasses to this weekend? Remind us of what we've lost in the comments. Send us your favorite endangered or threatened species. Many of these species don't have photos or only have wiki stubs.
The next post in this series will highlight the bad ass animals that faced extinction but are back from the brink.