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The Light Magazine continues to address important issues affecting our world in order to bring awareness, education and the needed funds to protect the endangered animals for generations to come. Below is a recap of some of the species we have featured in articles of previous issues and an update on their current status.


Amur Tiger

Scientific Name: Panthera tigris altaica
Status: Endangered
Population: As many as 540

Bengal Tiger

Scientific Name: Panthera tigris tigris
Status: Endangered
Population: more than 2,500

Also known as the Siberian tiger, the Amur tiger was driven to the brink of extinction in the 1940s with no more than 40 left in the wild. Bengal tigers are found mainly in India, with smaller populations in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Myanmar. Tigers are threatened by habitat loss, illegal wildlife trade, and conflict with humans.

Orangutan

Scientific Name: Pongo pygmaeus
Status: Critically Endangered
Population: About 104,700

Sumatran Orangutan

Scientific Name: Pongo abelii
Status: Critically Endangered
Population: 14,613

Highly intelligent, Orangutans share 96.4% of genes with humans. Female Orangutans are hunted most, and if caught with offspring, the young are often kept as pets. Sumatran Orangutans live in the trees of tropical rainforests, and rarely travel on the ground.

Blue Whale

Scientific Name: Balaenoptera musculus
Status: Endangered
Population: 10,000 – 25,000

Blue whales are harmed by ship strikes and fishing gear. Climate change has had an impact on krill, their food supply. The largest animal in the world (they can weigh up to 200 tons) blue whales are at the top of the food chain and important to the health of the marine environment.


African Wild Dog

Scientific Name: Lycaon pictus
Status: Endangered
Population: 6,600

World Wildlife Fund calls the African Wild Dog one of the world’s most endangered mammals. The largest populations are in southern Africa, Tanzania, and northern Mozambique. They are often killed by humans, accidentally and intentionally, as well as viral diseases like rabies and distemper. Habitat loss and competition with larger predators like lions are also a threat.

Amur Leopard

Scientific Name: Panthera pardus orientalis
Status: Critically Endangered
Population: More than 84

A rare subspecies of leopard of the Russian Far East, the Amur leopard can run at speeds of up to 37 mph. It is frequently killed by poachers for its beautiful, spotted fur, according to WWF.

Sumatran Tiger

Scientific Name: Panthera tigris sumatrae
Status: Critically Endangered
Population: Less than 400

Habitat destruction from deforestation forces tigers into human-populated areas in search of food, where they are often killed by villagers. They are victims of illegal wildlife trade, prized for their bones and their pelts.


Eastern Lowland Gorilla

Scientific Name: Gorilla beringei graueri
Status: Critically Endangered
Population: Unknown –
Possibly as few as 8,500

Poaching, disease, habitat destruction and years of civil unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo have impacted the population of this gorilla.

Hawksbill Turtle

Scientific Name: Eretmochelys imbricata
Status: Critically Endangered
Population: n/a

Hawksbills feed in coral reefs, helping to maintain the health of reefs and sea grass beds. Their existence is threatened by wildlife trade of their shells, habitat loss, egg collection, pollution and development on coasts, where they lay their eggs. They often get caught on fishing hooks or tangled in gillnets, causing them to drown.

Javan Rhino

Scientific Name: Rhinoceros sondaicus
Status: Critically Endangered
Population: 58-68

With so few of these rhinos that live in Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia, these are the most threatened of all rhinos. Most were killed by trophy hunters during colonial times. Vietnam’s last Javan rhino was poached in 2010. They are killed for their horn, which is coveted in parts of Asia for its supposed medicinal qualities and as an ornament. Even in the park, poaching remains a threat.


There are many organizations that are dedicated to preserving our wildlife and each of them has its own
programs. We are highlighting some of the non-profits that we think are worthy of consideration.

WORLD WILDLIFE FUND (WWF)

The WWF is probably the most well-known conservation organization and doesn’t need much of an introduction. They have been fighting for wildlife conservation for decades and their efforts have not been in vain – they have made a huge difference to our natural world both on land and in the ocean.

The WWF supports any animals that need protecting and their efforts stretch wide and far – from the freezing Antarctic to the sunny skies of Mexico or the lush bushveld of Africa. Some of the animals they help protect are:

• Tigers
• Orangutans
• Marine Turtles
• Rhinos
• Chimpanzees
• Elephants
• Leopards
• Dolphins
• Gorillas
• Whales

Visit the website to find out about the various ways to donate. WWF has a gift center with all types of merchandise that raises funds to protect wildlife and the environment. Your donation will support WWF’s conservation work around the globe. Items include a complete line of apparel for infants, children, and adults, as well as an accessory line that includes caps, headbands, earrings, scarves, socks and mittens.

They also have adoption program featuring the many endangered species which includes an 8” plush toy, a photograph, adoption certificate, a species card and a gift card for $55. Other adoption kits that are available online are a $25 kit and a $100 kit.

PANTHERA

Panthera is a wildlife conservation organization exclusively devoted to protecting our world’s 38 wildcat species.

Which endangered animals do they protect:

• Tigers
• Lions
• Jaguars
• Snow Leopards
• Pumas
• Cheetahs

By donating to Panthera and supporting conservation projects you help them decrease the killing of wild cats around the world.

Start your own campaign with Panthera by visiting their website. Donations to Panthera through your campaign can be made online, or you can gather pledges and submit donations via mail using the credit card and check donation form. You can also create a campaign on Crowdrise where all donations go directly to Panthera.


THE WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY (WCS)

WCS was founded in 1895 and is committed to protecting the world’s wildlife, focusing on 15 priority regions. Their activities are aimed at combining science, conservation and education.

They protect animals threatened by issues like climate change and misuse of resources. These species include:

• Big cats
• Elephants
• Apes
• Bears
• Carnivores

As WCS states, wildlife is worth fighting for and there are a range of ways in which you can get involved to help them serve their cause. There are different ways to donate through their website including Tribute Giving by honoring a friend or family member with a tribute gift to the Wildlife Conservation Society. WCS will send a personalized tribute card to the person.

INTERNATIONAL UNION FOR CONSERVATION OF NATURE (IUCN)

The IUCN was the world’s first global environmental organization and works towards finding solutions to pressing environmental challenges. Over 185 countries form part of the union and they have thousands of field projects around the globe.

The following are some of the animals that have benefited from their conservation efforts:

• African elephants
• African lions
• Manatees
• Crocodiles
• Penguins
• Atlantic Humpback dolphins
• Bengal tigers
• Green Sea turtle
• Leopards
• Scalloped Hammerhead sharks

The website will show individuals wanting to support IUCN different ways to donate.

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