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Spotting them is very difficult: some of the rarest animals in the world (and at risk of extinction)

Beautiful, sometimes mysterious and unfortunately also very few: these animals are at risk of extinction for many reasons, many of these related to human activity, often invasive or cruel.

Soon all these animals could disappear because in recent years their population has reduced by several units: in addition, many of these species have a shy and reserved behavior, which makes it really difficult to spot them and make an estimate of the number of specimens left.

Browse the photo gallery to learn more about and see these beautiful animals, often very difficult to find in nature, even just to take photographs.

Freepik, Wikimedia Commons
Spotting them is really difficult: here are some of the rarest animals in the world (and at risk of extinction)
Beautiful, sometimes mysterious and unfortunately also very few: these animals are at risk of extinction for many reasons, many of these related to human activity, often invasive or cruel. Soon all these animals could disappear because in recent years their population has been reduced by several units: in addition, many of these species have a shy and reserved behavior, which makes it really difficult to spot them and make an estimate of the number of specimens left. Browse the photo gallery to learn more about and see these beautiful animals, often very difficult to find in nature, even just to take photographs.
Freepik
Snow leopard (Panthera uncia)
The snow leopard is native to the mountains of Central Asia. This beautiful feline lives in the highlands between 3350 and 6700 meters above sea level. Scholars of the Snow Leopard Survival Strategy have tried to make an estimate of the population of this species, estimating it on about 6000 units. However, it is feared that there are fewer than 2500 specimens of reproductive age due to poaching and the destruction of their habitat.
Mathias Appel, Wikimedia Commons
Red ruffed lamur (Varecia rubra)
The red ruffed lamur lives in the rainforests of Masoala, in the north-east of the Madagascar, of which it represents one of the largest primates in terms of size. Its habitat is constantly threatened by logging: therefore, this lemur is considered critically endangered. To protect the remaining specimens, the MasoalaNational Park was created in 1997, but part of the population lives outside the boundaries of the park and is subject to the threats of hunting and capture for illegal trade.
Stavenn, Wikimedia Commons
Pied tamarin (Saguinus bicolor)
This small primate lives in the region north of the Amazon River, Brazil, in the rainforest. Unfortunately, the tamarin is endangered due to human activity, which is destroying its habitat: men, in fact, are building more and more buildings near Manaus, a city very close to the areas where this primate lives. 
Marco Tersigni, Wikimedia Commons
Marsican brown bear (Ursus arctos marsicanus)
The Marsican brown bear is a subspecies of the common brown bear that lives exclusively in central-southern Italy: in particular, it is localized between the Abruzzo, Lazio and Moliseregions, where a total of about 55-85 bears survives. It is therefore clear that this species is critically close to extinction, as well as very difficult to trace, being very shy and having habits almost exclusively nocturnal. To cause the reduction of the species has been the unbridled hunting in the past centuries: moreover, the Marsican brown bear is characterized by a very low reproductive rate.
Wikimedia Commons
Elephant shrew (Macroscelides proboscideus)
This adorable animal was thought to be extinct. However, in 2018, fortunately, 12 specimens were spotted in Djibouti. The elephant shrew is very rare and tends to camouflage and run away quickly, which is why it is very rare to track it and determine the precise number of existing specimens.
Huangdan2060, Wikimedia Commons
Yangtze finless Porpoise (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis)
This cetacean is native to East Asia and is endemic to the Yangtze River in China, where it is the last remaining freshwater cetacean after the increasingly likely extinction of the Lipotes vexillifer. This species is mainly threatened by illegal fishing that uses dangerous gear, but another cause is water pollution, linked to the naval trade. Currently, a conservation program is active to ensure the protection of the remaining specimens.
Wikimedia Commons
Angel shark (Squalina Squalina) 
The angel shark lives in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, but has also been traced in the Mediterranean Sea. Its conservation status is at a critical level, so much so that its fishing is prohibited: it was precisely wild fishing that drastically reduced the number of angel shark specimens. 
Harrybalais, Wikimedia Commons
Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi)
From the point of view of length, this majestic eagle is the largest in the world, as it reaches 86-102 centimeters. This species is critically endangered and its population has declined dramatically in recent decades due to the destruction of its habitat, due to deforestation. This bird of prey has been declared a National Bird of the Philippines: here, whoever kills a specimen is punishable by up to 12 years in prison!
Valerius Tygart, Wikimedia Commons
Tree pangolin (Manis tricuspis)
This mammal lives in tropical areas of southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, but was once much more widespread. The population is shrinking more and more, as this species is illegally hunted for its meat, despite its trade being effectively prohibited. Scales are also subject to extensive international smuggling traffic.
Charles J. Sharp, Wikimedia Commons
Ganges gharial (Gavialis gangeticus)
It is one of the longest crocodiles in the world and is characterized by a long and tapered snout. This species lives in the rivers of the plains of the Indian subcontinent, but the population has declined dramatically: within 60 years, the number has dropped from 5,000-10,000 gharials to about 500. These crocodiles were killed by fishermen and hunters for their skin or to be displayed as trophies. In addition, their habitat is increasingly polluted, in addition to being reduced due to the extraction of sand that has changed the course of rivers.
Jack Hynes, Wikimedia Commons
Golden rhinopithecus (Rhinopithecus roxellana)
Originally from China, this funny monkey (which seems to have exaggerated with cosmetic surgery) is in great danger of extinction. The decline in individuals of this species is linked to the dizzying increase in the human population near its habitat: this has caused extensive deforestation to make way for agricultural and arable land. The hunting of these monkeys is absolutely forbidden: despite this, the estimated number of specimens is between 8,000 and 15,000 individuals.
Purplepumpkins, Wikimedia Commons
Iriomote cat (Prionailurus iriomotensis)
The Iriomote Cat is a wild cat that lives exclusively on the Japanese island of Iriomote. According to the latest estimates, its population is about 100 specimens, as illegal hunting and the destruction of its habitat have drastically reduced the number of individuals, despite the fact that in 1977 this feline was declared a Japanese National Treasure. 
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