46 Crucial Endangered Species Statistics (2024 UPDATE)

It’s human nature to change the environment. We adapt to it, and we make it adapt to us. However, endangered species statistics reveal this modification of our surroundings comes with serious repercussions.

The statistics we’re about to show you are frightening. But, let’s take a look at some highlights first:

What are the Top Animal Extinction Facts and Statistics?

It’s no secret that the number of endangered species is rising. But, the evidence we’ve gathered is damning. Statistics below go into detail on the state of threatened and extinct species and why this is happening.

What is Causing Animal Extinction?

Humans are the main reason the extinction rates are so rapid. But how many extinctions happen every year? Are the governments doing something about it? Can we protect the endangered species?

Keep reading to find the answers to all your questions about the endangered species.

1. IPBES Report claims natural decline is “unprecedented.”

(The UN)

The animal extinction facts are looking grim. And a report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) confirms it.

This landmark report states that nature is, on a global level, declining at an unprecedented rate.

2. The IUCN Red List recently included 30,178 species that are threatened with extinction.


According to the endangered species statistics from 2020, almost a third of the Red List species are at risk of extinction.

While the 2019 update does further cement how great a crisis we are facing, it also has a tinge of hope. The 2019 updates note that 10 species are recovering.

3. Saving one species saves many more.


Every animal, plant, and fungus is part of a broader ecosystem. Therefore, losing or saving any species will lead to a powerful ripple effect.

One of the crucial endangered species facts is the reintroduction of grey wolves in Yellowstone Park. The packs kept elk populations under control. This allowed willow and aspen trees, elks’ primary food, to recover.

Then, the leaves and branches of these same trees cooled down the streams in Yellowstone. This boosted trout and beaver populations and led to better habitats for otters, ducks, mink, etc.

4. One-quarter of all assessed species of mammals are in danger.

(IUCN Red List)

The IUCN’s Red List is the most extensive inventory for the conservation status of different species. It includes both flora and fauna.

According to the endangered species list from 2020, 26% of all assessed mammals are in danger of extinction.

5. There are between 200 and 2,000 extinctions every year.


There are about 2 million different species on Earth. The data suggests the growing number of endangered species by year is nothing to scoff at.

It shows that between 0.01–0.1% of all species are lost every year — about 200 to 2,000 extinctions every year.

6. The current rate of extinction is 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate.


We can find out a lot about the natural extinction facts by using the background extinction rate. This rate represents the natural extinction rate of the world’s biological species.

Today, we are losing species at a rate between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than the natural rate.

7. Some animals might go extinct because nobody eats them.


One of the more disputed facts about the extinction of species is that we can save animals by eating them.

The Red Wattle pig and the Randall Lineback cow are outstanding examples. These two species couldn’t have been revived without the help of food ranchers.

8. Not conserving global biodiversity could cost us billions.


How can we stop animal extinction? One of the ways is to conserve biodiversity.

However, the 2019 G7 summit revealed that conserving global diversity costs a lot. However, their predictions also show that not taking action can cost even more.

Failing to lower greenhouse gas emissions results in fewer cold-water recreational fishing days in the US. This could cause a $1.7–$3.1billion loss a year by 2090.

Similarly, by 2100, climate change could cause a $140 billion loss a year in recreational benefits associated with coral reefs.

Finally, by 2099, ocean acidification could reduce shellfish harvest, resulting in a $230 million loss.

While these conservation and endangered animal facts might seem daunting when it comes to money, you can’t put a price on saving the world.

9. There have been five big mass extinctions in geologic history.


Everybody knows about the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. However, one of the lesser-known facts about extinction is that there were five mass events:

  • The Ordovician Mass Extinction took place 440 million years ago. It was most likely caused by continental drift.
  • The Devonian Mass Extinction happened about 375 million years ago. There are several hypothesized causes for it. Volcanic eruptions, meteor strikes, and lack of oxygen in the oceans are just a few.
  • The Permian Mass Extinction took place 250 million years ago. Asteroid strikes, climate change, or volcanic activity probably caused it.
  • The Triassic-Jurassic Mass Extinction happened some 200 million years ago, according to endangered species statistics. Severe volcanic activity, basalt flooding, and the changing of the oceans’ pH levels caused the extinction.
  • The K-T Mass Extinction took place 65 million years ago.  It was caused by extreme asteroid and meteor impacts.

10. Congress is trying to weaken the Endangered Species Act, facts reveal.


The Endangered Species Act of 1973 protects species threatened by extinction. However, congress regularly introduces bills that may undermine the act.

The NRDC claims that bills such as the “Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act” place short-term economic gain before long-term conservation work.

11. Plants are going extinct almost 500 times the natural rate.


According to a study, plants are disappearing at 500 times their natural rate. The facts and stats gleaned from this paper show that, since 1900, about three plant species have gone extinct every year.

12. In the previous 250 years, 571 species have been confirmed extinct.


The world lost 571 species in the previous two-and-a-half centuries. Facts about endangered species show that animals are disappearing at twice the rate. But this shouldn’t make the high plant extinction rate any less troubling.

13. Human behavior has changed roughly 66% of the ocean surface.

(Science News)

One of the greatest threats to animal and plant conservation is habitat loss. Oceans are one of the largest habitats since they cover 71% of the entire Earth’s surface. However, they are greatly affected by human activity.

Endangered species numbers are rising because of the vast damage humans are doing to the ocean. Namely, we have altered 66% of the ocean surface.

14. Hunters kill over 200,000 animals for trophies every year.

(Humane Society International)

Trophy hunting is sadly still a severe issue. People pay large amounts of money to kill animals for bragging rights and have a nice souvenir from Africa.

But this type of hunting harms conservation efforts severely and damages the already endangered animal populations. Sadly, endangered animal facts reveal that hunters kill more than 200,000 endangered species for trophies every year.

15. Due to their genetic similarity to humans, some primates are vulnerable to Covid-19.

(National Geographic)

A recent study revealed that the risk of catching Covid-19 is exceptionally high in some endangered primates.

The western lowland gorilla, northern white-cheeked gibbon, and the Sumatran orangutan are especially at risk due to their genetic similarity to humans.

The Most Endangered Animal Species

Sure, people are the main reason for bringing certain species to the brink of existence.

Keep scrolling to discover what species are endangered the most.

16. African elephant numbers halved in the two decades between the 70s and the 80s.


One of the more depressing endangered species statistics is that African elephant populations have plummeted.

During the 1970s and the 1980s, African elephant numbers dropped from 1.3 million to 600,000 because people hunted them for their tusks and sport.

17. Competition for prey by invasive species and planned federal eradication are the main reasons for the Tasmanian tiger’s extinction.

(The Conversation)

The Thylacine, known as the Tasmanian tiger, has been officially extinct since 1936. The core causes included the competition for prey against cats and dogs brought by Australian settlers and planned government eradication.

Tasmanian tiger extinction facts show that the Australian government paid out over 2,000 bounties around the beginning of the 20th century.

18. Armed conflicts and disease are significant and lesser-known factors endangering gorillas.

(Gorillas World)

Gorilla extinction facts show that many compounding causes are leading to their extinction. Habitat loss and poaching are among the common causes of animal extinction.

However, many people don’t consider armed conflicts between countries where gorillas live and diseases transmitted by people.

19. A contagious type of cancer has killed 90% of the already weakened Tasmanian devil population.

(DW, Smithsonian Magazine)

The Tasmanian devil is slowly disappearing. Scientists detected a contagious type of cancer in 1996 that severely damaged the numbers of these marsupials.

Tasmanian devil extinction facts show that 90% of their population has been lost in the last two-and-a-half decades.

20. The dodo bird went extinct in 1690.

(Discover Wildlife)

The dodo is as renowned for its comical appearances as it’s famous for its extinction.

But, when did the dodo go extinct? Dodo birds disappeared somewhere between 1662 and 1690. The reason? The Dutch sailors brought invasive species that eradicated the birds.

21. There are 3,900 tigers in the entire world.


At least there is some potentially good news about the tigers. Tiger populations have finally started to increase in areas where they have been dropping for over a hundred years.

Tiger extinction facts and statistics are still pretty grim. There are not even 4,000 tigers alive today. However, the small tick upwards reported by the World Wildlife Fund might serve as a glimmer of hope.

22. Red wolves could go extinct by 2026.

(USA Today)

The red Wolf is one of the most endangered species, and statistics show it might go extinct by 2026. The US Fish and Wildlife Service claims that only a few dozen red wolves are left in the wild right now.

23. The bald eagle has inspired the Endangered Species Act.


The Endangered Species Act, made to protect threatened animals, was set up because of the bald eagle.

In 1966, America was very concerned about its national bird. Animal extinction facts show the bald eagle began dying out due to habitat loss from wildfires, deforestation, urbanization, hunting, and pesticides.

24. Polar bears are threatened by more than just climate change.


Polar bear extinction facts show that climate change is not the only threat they face. The oil and gas industry is focusing its sights on the arctic. This can lead to severe habitat destruction, the occurrence of oil spills, and pesticide spreading.

25. Pandas are facing unexpected threats to their survival.


Common extinction factors are relevant for pandas as well. They include habitat destruction provoked by industrialization and poaching for their pelts and skins.

But panda extinction facts reveal there’s something that makes things even harder. Pandas are very picky when it comes to their mates. This causes problems in captive breeding.

26. Cheetahs have low genetic diversity, making conservation much more difficult.

(Global Vision International)

Cheetah extinction facts show that 77% of cheetahs live in areas where they aren’t protected and come into regular contact with human beings. This makes them much more susceptible to poaching.

They also often have to contend with other fierce animals like lions and hyenas. But what makes cheetahs endangered is the fact that they have low genetic diversity. This leads to the development of deformities and genetic weaknesses.

27. The black rhino has been extinct since 2011.

(Save the Rhino)

For some animals, it’s too late. Namely, the western black rhino has been gone since 2011. This already seems like a long time ago, but the last sighting of a Western black rhino happened in 2003.

The most recent extinct animal should serve as a warning. There were once four black rhino subspecies. And now, with the extinction of the Western black rhino, there are only three.

28. Grizzly bears are recovering.

(National Park Service, 2019 GB Recovery Program Annual Report)

One of the more positive points on this list is the fact that Grizzly bears are getting better. There are six Grizzly bear recovery areas. These animals have seen a remarkable recovery.

Namely, Grizzly bear endangered species facts and stats from 1975 show that there were only 136 Grizzlies in Yellowstone alone. Luckily, their numbers have grown.

Statistics from 2019 show that there are:

  • 728 bears in the Yellowstone Recovery Zone
  • 1,068 bears in the Northern Continental Divide Zone
  • Less than 50 bears in the Cabinet-Yaak Recovery Zone
  • A little over 50 bears in the Selkirk Mountains Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone
  • One male Grizzly bear in the Bitterroot Recovery Zone

[visualizer id=”5808″]

The population number for the North Cascades Recovery Zone is still unknown. The reason is that there have been only four confirmed Grizzly bear sightings in the area over the last 10 years.

29. Rhino horn poaching has increased sharply since 2007.

(Helping Rhinos)

Endangered species statistics for 2021 specifed these rhinos as “near threatened.” Namely, there are roughly 20,000 rhinos all around Africa.

Rhino poaching statistics show that poaching and the illegal rhino horn trade have increased abruptly since 2007. That’s the main reason rhinos are still endangered.

30. There are many success stories when it comes to conservation.


There is a positive endangered species fact or two in this article. Conservation efforts are getting some results, best seen by the stabilization of the populations of various species.

For example, there were less than 100 rhinos in 1985. Today, there are 21,000. Giant pandas are back as well, with 2,000 of them living in the wild. There are now 1,200 wild Arabian Onyxes, with another 7,000 in captivity.

31. Bald eagle conservation is a great success story.

(American Bird Conservancy)

The Bald Eagle is a fantastic success story. During the 60s and 70s, this species was in trouble due to various factors, with the core element being the pesticide DDT.

The older bald eagle extinction facts from 1963 showed roughly 417 breeding pairs. Fortunately, by 1997 there were 5,000. Finally, in 2007, the bald eagle was officially no longer endangered.

32. Asian elephant populations have been halved.


One of the core factors that lead to wildlife extinction is habitat loss. Elephants are considered vulnerable, and poachers frequently target certain species.

Elephant extinction facts for Asia are far more pessimistic. There are 40,000–50,000 elephants left on the Asian continent. Their numbers have halved in the last three generations.

33. Out of 19 polar bear subpopulations, only one is increasing.


Polar bears are one of the first victims of climate change. The melting of the ice caps means their feeding ranges are restricted, while their homes are melting before their very eyes.

Some not-so-interesting facts about endangered species show that there are 19 polar bear subpopulations. Only one is increasing, four are in decline, while five are stable. Scientists haven’t assessed the remaining nine yet.

The Most Endangered Species in the World: Marine and Insect Life

Human activities such as fishing, whaling, and pollution are also endangering marine and insect life. If some of these species die out, humans will be in a lot of trouble. Read on to discover more!

34. Both plants and animals will be in trouble if the bees die out.


While many insects pollinate flowers, bees are the most efficient and effective at this task. Bee statistics reveal that many plants may disappear if they go extinct. Then, herbivores are going to get in trouble.

Core extinction of species facts show that animals relying on certain plants will go extinct since they’ll be deprived of their food source. Finally, predators preying on these herbivores will also not be able to get any food.

The bee extinction will cause a chain reaction, dealing an enormous amount of damage to nature and society as a whole.

35. More than 40% of all amphibians are threatened by human activity.


It’s clear that humans cause animal extinction. When it comes to these animals, extinction facts reveal that 40% of amphibians may go extinct due to human activity.

36. More than a third of sharks and rays are near extinction.

(NBC News, WWF)

There are over 1,000 species of sharks and rays. However, shark extinction facts bear less than positive news. Sadly, 316 species are facing extinction.

The endangered shark species include:

  • Four angel shark species
  • Four hammerhead shark species
  • The giant manta ray

37. Six out of seven sea turtle species are endangered or threatened in some way.

(National Geographic, Bonaire Turtles)

There are seven species of sea turtles. Of these seven species, six are endangered or threatened. The sea turtle extinction facts show that the five significant hazards for sea turtles are:

  • Fisheries
  • Coastal development
  • Climate change
  • Pollution
  • Hunting/poaching

38. In the past, whales were hunted for oil, food, and clothing.

(Whale Facts)

Whale hunting was a very lucrative profession. Some interesting facts about extinction reveal that whales have been hunted for their raw materials, making oil, clothing, and food.

39. There are multiple reasons why bees are disappearing.

(Friends of the Earth)

It’s not a mystery as to why the bees are disappearing, despite what people might think or what the media might tell us. The animal extinction facts from 2020 are pretty clear on why the bees are disappearing.

They’re losing their habitats due to intensive farming and land-use changesGlobal warming, climate change, and invasive species are also troublesome. Finally, pesticides and diseases are also very problematic.

40. All killer whale populations are protected under the MMPA.

(NOAA Fisheries)

Facts about endangered animals reveal there are about 50,000 killer whales in the world. They’re all protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). Orcas, known as killer whales, went from hated to endangered.

The federal law protects only two populations:

  • the Southern Resident population (listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act) — reduced from 140 to 76 whales.
  • AT1 Transient population (listed as depleted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act) — reduced from 22 to 7 whales.

41. Before receiving protection, people killed over 350,000 whales in the 6 decades between 1904 and 1967.


Overfishing and whaling have reached alarming rates. One of the many facts about animal extinction that show how prevalent whaling was is that in 1931, 29,000 blue whales were hunted down in one season.

Furthermore, between 1904 and 1967, barely over six decades, hunters killed 350,000 whales.


42. How many endangered species are there globally?

According to the IUCN, there are over 30,000 endangered species. While the IUCN’s list is thorough and perhaps the most comprehensive list on this topic, it is neither complete nor perfect. Still, it is a handy piece of information.

43. What percentage of animals are endangered?

The data gathered by the IUCN includes 30% of all sharks and rays, 14% of birds, 25% of mammals, 34% of conifer trees, and 27% of all selected crustaceans. In other words, 27% of all assessed species are endangered.

44. What species went extinct in 2020?

2020 was a challenging year. Not only did the COVID-19 pandemic stroke, but many endangered plants and animals went extinct. Among them were:

  • 32 Orchid species in Bangladesh
  • 65 North American plants, including the Marshallia grandiflora (it was declared its own species this past year)
  • Smooth handfish
  • 22 frog species, including the Aragua robber frog and the Piñango stubfoot toad
  • 15% of mite species
  • Simeulue Hill mynas
  • 17 freshwater fish from Lake Lanao, Mindanao, the Philippines

Sadly, the list of extinct animals and plants is much longer.

45. How many animals go extinct every day?

There are roughly 200 to 2,000 extinctions every year. Essentially, between two and 20 species go extinct every day.

46. What is the #1 most endangered animal?

Sadly, there is no one most endangered animal. Many animals are near extinction.

The IUCN classifies the Amur leopard as critically endangered, with less than 70 of them still in existence.

There are barely 200 to 300 Cross River gorillas in the wild.

Orangutans are also on the list of most endangered species, with 80% of their population killed in the last 75 years.

47. What percent of species will be gone in 100 years?

This is a complicated question to answer and perhaps mostly depends on how cynical or optimistic you are.

On the one hand, there are somewhere between 200 to 2,000 extinctions every year. So, this can mean that we might see anything between 20,000 and 200,000 extinctions in one century.

On the other hand, these numbers can be significantly reduced or sped up depending on our conduct in the next 100 years.


Hopefully, the endangered species statistics above will give you a realistic, if somewhat grim, view of the environment and the living world.

However, education is the first step to change, and it’s essential to understand the problem before attacking it properly.


  1. Like!! Really appreciate you sharing this blog post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

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