Ten Endangered Species in Asia
As the largest, most populated and fastest growing continent on Earth, Asia may be the region of the world where the most animal species face extinction due to conflicts with humans. The rapid development of land for use by humans all over Asia poses a serious threat to many animal species, and many Asian governments do too little too late to protect their own environments. There are some areas of improved awareness about the risks of overly rapid expansion, and the protection of many iconic species - like Tigers and Giants Pandas - may benefit from focused conservation efforts. But many other animals are also threatened, and they don't always get the attention they need to ensure their continued survival.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is an international organization whose mission is to encourage and assist countries around the world with maintaining their natural diversity of plant and animal species.
In cooperation with governments, scientists and non-governmental organizations around the world, the IUCN works to maintain the complex biodiversity that maintains the balance of the planetary ecosystem. Every creature has a place in the great machine that is the ecosystem, and the unnatural loss of any species can have significant consequences on the rest of the biosphere. The List Of Endangered Species
In their efforts to maintain biodiversity around the globe, the IUCN maintains a "red list" of species and classifies the threat levels for each one, ranging from "Least Concerned" to "Extinct". All of the animals listed on this page are listed either as "Endangered" or "Critically Endangered", the final classification before "Extinct".
1) Snow Leopard
Latin Name: Panthera uncia
Location(s): Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan Description: Unlike their larger cousin, the tiger, Snow Leopards are offered little protection in their native habitats. The Snow Leopard's native habitat is closely tied to grazing grounds of its preferred prey, which is also the same land that farmers wish to use for their livestock. This leads to a reduction in prey animals due to competition with livestock, which leads the leopards to turn to the livestock for food. The taking of livestock often leads to retribution killing by farmers.
The Snow Leopard is also intentionally hunted for it fur, as well as for other body parts that are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a substitute for much more rare tiger parts, including bones, claws meat and sexual organs. Poaching of live animals for use in circuses and zoos is also depleting the wild populations.
Over the past decade, much of the Snow Leopard's native range in the Near East has been an area of major military conflict. Damage to the habitat from military action and the demands of displaced peoples for local resources have had a significant impact on the animals' habitat.
2) Javan Rhinoceros
Latin Name: Rhinoceros sondaicus
Location(s): Indonesia and Viet Nam
Extinct in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Peninsular Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand Description: Once the most widespread Asian rhinoceros, the Javan Rhino was hunted to near extinction in the 19th and 20th Centuries and currently exists in just two isolated areas. There are now less than 100 wild Javan Rhinos - about 40 to 60 on the western tip of the island of Java, and another smaller group in Cat Tien National Park in Viet Nam. The Viet Nam population is believed to contain as few as six animals, and no breeding has been observed in recent years. It's possible that all of the animals who currently survive are too old to breed, and they may all be the same sex.
There are currently no Javan Rhinos in captivity, and historically there have only ever been 22 in zoos, the last one...