It is our duty and moral responsibility to ensure the survival and conservation of our world’s wonderful species to thrive and co-exist today and for future generations to come.

 

 

Helmeted hornbill:

 

Known as ‘flying ivory’, the helmeted hornbill’s helmet, or ‘casque’, is highly sought-after for carving into jewellery and trinkets. Due to the desirability of the helmeted hornbill’s casque, poaching is often funded by organised crime. This severe poaching pressure and widespread habitat loss in its forest ranges in Asia means the helmeted hornbill is Critically Endangered according to the IUCN Red List. That’s one step from extinction in the wild.

 

 

Sumatran tiger:

 

The Sumatran tiger is Critically Endangered with fewer than 500 remaining in the wild. Sumatran tigers are killed for their skin, bones and canines, which are all used in East Asian traditional medicine. Habitat loss due to palm oil, coffee and acacia plantations, and smallholder encroachment, is also a threat. Riau and Kerinci Seblat National Park in Aceh, Indonesia, are home to more than 60% of all wild Sumatran tigers, so protection in these areas is critically important to its survival.

 

 

Sandbar shark:

 

The sandbar shark is found in subtropical and warm temperate waters around the world and is Endangered in the Mediterranean. Adult sandbar sharks measure up to 2 and a half metres in length, and live up to 40 years of age. The species is threatened by fishing practices. Gökova Bay in Turkey is the only known breeding spot for the species in this nearly-landlocked sea, so adequate protection of the bay is vital for ensuring the survival of the sandbar shark in this part of the world.

 

 

Coral Reef:

 

A coral reef in good health is like a busy underwater city, bustling with marine life, filled with colour, and offering rich pickings for sea turtles, rays and sharks. It is estimated that 25% of all marine life in the sea depend on these coral reef ecosystems. Sadly, coral reefs are in steep decline. Due to overfishing, development, pollution and climate change, research suggests 50% of the world’s reefs have been eradicated in the last 30 years. Unless we act now, we risk destroying all of these beautiful and vital ecosystems.

 

 

Pangolin:

 

Pangolins are one of the world’s least known and most poached animals. A prehistoric mammal that has been around for 80 million years, they live in a variety of habitats, can swim long distances and dig 40 metre burrows. Unfortunately they are a favourite for poachers, with almost all of their body parts and flesh sold on the black market. More than one million pangolins are estimated to have been taken from the wild and killed since 2000 and they are now believed to be the most trafficked mammal in the world.

 

 

Antiguan racer snake:

 

The Antiguan racer snake is endemic to Antigua and Barbuda. Following the introduction of rats and mongooses in the 1800s, the species suffered a drastic decline and, by 1995, only around 50 survived on one offshore islet. Work by conservationists to eradicate alien species and reintroduce the Antiguan racer onto other offshore islands has seen the population increase to over 1,100 individuals. Despite this increase the Antiguan racer is still under severe threat and remains Critically Endangered.

 

Photo credits

 

Antiguan racer snake, Jenny Daltry | Helmeted hornbill, Craig Ansibin | Sumatran tiger, Colin Eaton | Sandbar shark, wrangel | Coral Reef, dwphotos | Pangolin, Daniel Haesslich

 

Editorial credits

 

Fauna and Flora International