Happy World Wildlife Day

The United Nations began the tradition of this annual celebration March 3rd, 2013. Today, on the seventh anniversary, is a great time for a wildlife update. Let’s look at the status of a few animals on the World Wildlife Fund endangered list. These three are personal favorites: leopards, orangutans and vaquita porpoises.

Amur Leopard: Panthera pardus orientalis
Habitat: Northern Russia, Northern Korea and Eastern China
Threats: Poaching for their unique coat, habitat loss, warming climate
Numbers: Around 100 left in the wild (up from only 30 in the 1970s)
Conservation efforts: Wildlife Conservation Society (NY) (for photos and facts)

Portrait of an amur leopard at Marwell Zoo
Amur Leopard at Marwell Zoo Photo: William Warby

Bornean Orangutan: Pongo pygmaeus
Habitat: Island of Borneo
Threats: Logging and hunting
Numbers: Central species – 35,000  Northwest species: only 1500 left in the wild
Conservation efforts: World Wildlife Fund  (for species facts)

Bornean Orangutan, Tanjung Putting National Park Photo: Thomas Fuhrmann

Vaquita Porpoise: Phocoena sinus
Habitat: Northern Gulf of California off the coast of Mexico
Threats: Illegal fishing using gill nets
Numbers: Only 10 remain
Conservation efforts: Porpoise Conservation Society (for more facts)

Vaquita Porpoise, Photo: Paula Olson, NOAA

Beautiful beasts, let’s share the world, make it habitable for them and us.

What is your favorite animal?

Gracias for reading Fake Flamenco. ¡Olé! –Rebecca

Poster by Patrick George for the UN: Guarantee the sustainability of life on earth (literal translation from Spanish)
Rebecca Cuningham

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